Sunday, January 19, 2020

Advance Directives & Substitutes

“Mental Health Bill Caters to Big Pharma and Would Expand Coercive Treatments”

Oryx Cohen at TruthOut explains why the "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 2646) - commonly known as the 'Murphy Bill' - appears to cater more closely to the desires of pharmaceutical companies than to the actual needs of people in psychological distress, perhaps because of Murphy's connections to key lobbyists." "If the Murphy Bill is passed, psychiatric hospitals and pharmaceutical companies will reap huge financial benefits as a result of increased hospitalization and forced treatment."

Mental Health Nurses Do Not Routinely Assess for Effects of Antipsychotic Medications

Researchers believe that side-effect monitoring is critical because of the increase in the use of antipsychotics

“We Need REAL Change in Mental Health Policy, Not the Illusion of Reform”

David Shern, from Johns Hopkins University, writes that the latest mental health “Murphy bill” in Congress is “an expansion of the approaches that got us into our current difficulties.” “Early intervention and prevention, assessable and patient-focused services with a rehabilitation orientation and increased funding for the community supports needed for successful recovery are the tickets to system improvement.”

How Do Clients Solicit Medication Changes With Psychiatrists?

Researchers examine psychiatrist-client interactions and find that clients are often left with few opportunities to make explicit requests to change their medication regimen.

The CHRUSP Call to Action, and Its Significance

Various instruments of the United Nations have commented on forced treatment, or involuntary confinement, or both (for details, see Burstow, 2015a), and a number of truly critical additions to international law have materialized. Arguably, the most significant of these is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. What makes it so significant? For one thing, it is because this landmark convention puts forward nothing less than a total ban on both involuntary treatment and the involuntary confinement of people who have broken no laws.

My Response to the FDA’s ECT Rule Change

I lived through forced ECT from 2005-2006 at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut. My experience with ECT was the impetus for me to become involved in the antipsychiatry and Mad Pride movements, although I am not entirely opposed to voluntary mental health treatment. The following is the comment I submitted to the FDA on its proposal to down-classify the ECT shock device.

Psychiatric Diagnosis Can Lead to Epistemic Injustice, Researchers Claim

A discussion of the role of epistemic injustice in the experiences of patients diagnosed with psychiatric disorders.

“How Too Much Medicine Can Kill You”

In an op-ed for the Guardian, cardiologist Aseem Malhotra writes: “Corporate greed and systematic political failure have brought healthcare to its knees. There are too many misinformed doctors and misinformed patients. It’s time for greater transparency and stronger accountability, so that doctors and nurses can provide the best quality care for the most important person in the consultation room – the patient.”

“Obama Gun Regs Ease Mental Health Reporting to FBI”

"HHS said it took pains to avoid any change to gun check reporting that would weaken physician–patient confidentiality and deter individuals from voluntarily seeking...

Few Seniors Have Advance Directives, Yet Doctors Don’t Like It When They Do

In MinnPost, Susan Perry discusses a JAMA Internal Medicine study that found that, within 48 hours of being hospitalized, almost half of adults aged...

United Nations Rep Brings Attention to Human Rights Violations in Psychiatry

Dr. Dainius Pūras argues that the status quo in mental health treatment is no longer acceptable and demands political action to promote human rights.

Free ‘Commercial Speech’ Cases Threaten Pharmaceutical Regulation

Two recent court rulings argue that pharmaceutical companies have a first amendment right to market drugs “off-label” with a lack of scientific evidence, threatening...
supported decision-making equal legal capacity

Equal Legal Capacity or ‘Supported Decision-Making’?

At a recent conference on legal capacity, I was struck by the failure of another invited expert to adhere to the paradigm of supported decision-making as articulated by the CRPD Committee. We still need to work to ensure that this paradigm is well understood and appreciated, despite the progress made in national reforms.

Research Suggests that Forensic Psychological Examinations are Unreliable and Biased

Concerns have been raised about inconsistent and unreliable results, which may lead to injustices in sentencing or even wrongful convictions.

Compulsory Treatment Laws in Germany’s Psychiatric Wards

The science magazine RUBIN provides an update on patients’ rights to refuse treatment in Germany's psychiatric wards. “In psychiatric wards in Germany, patients used to be medicated indiscriminately against their will if doctors considered it necessary. It was only after a Federal Constitution Court ruling a few years ago that patient autonomy has been strengthened.”

“Plan for Your Next Breakdown”

Start shopping for the best hospitals, doctors and therapies while you're feeling good, suggests Lisa Keith on her PsychCentral blog Bipolar Lifehacks, because when...

“Would Washington’s FDA Fix Cure the Patients or the Drug Industry?”

Legislation is being advanced that would speed up the FDA’s approval process for new drugs and medical devices, according to a report by the Pacific Standard. Pharmaceutical and medical device companies have been lobbying heavily to reduce regulations and are winning over bipartisan support by attaching these measures to increased mental health funding.

Forced Treatment Ineffective: Advocacy Essential

Most Americans would agree that we have problem with mental health in this country, but what many do not know when they consider that people who are in distress are not getting the help they need is that hospitals in this country are not giving people a choice when they are in the most need. This is based on laws that currently exist in 45 US States, which allow individuals to be petitioned into an inpatient psychiatric unit against their will if they are deemed to be a “danger to themselves or others.” I have worked for 3.5 years as a Peer Support Specialist within my local public mental health system, where I see this happen to the individuals I serve, on a regular basis. I myself have been forced.

“Where Police Violence Encounters Mental Illness”

In The Opinion Pages of the New York Times, Matthew Epperson discusses the devastating results of police acting as the primary responders to mental health crises. “If we are to prevent future tragedies, then we should be ready to invest in a more responsive mental-health system and relieve the police of the burden of being the primary, and often sole, responders.”

Benzodiazepine Prescriptions Increase with Overdose Deaths

A recent article in the American Journal of Public Health calls for policy level interventions to reduce the use of benzodiazepines, drugs commonly prescribed...

Study Identifies Psychiatric Patients at Greatest Risk of Coercion

In an effort to reduce coercion, researchers isolate associated factors including age, relationship status, location, and diagnosis.

“F.D.A. Targets Inaccurate Medical Tests, Citing Dangers and Costs”

Following an eye-opening FDA report, the Obama administration is attempting to pass tighter regulations on medical tests. “Inaccurate and unreliable medical tests are prompting...

After the Black-Box: Majority of Children Starting SSRIs Still Receiving Too High of Dose

In 2004, the FDA added a black-box warning to SSRI antidepressants on the increased risk of suicide among children taking these drugs. A new study suggests that this warning has increased the proportion of children who begin an antidepressant on a low dose, but the majority are still receiving higher than recommended doses.

Murphy’s Mental Health Bill a Threat to Civil Liberties

In an Op-ed for the Times Union, Madeleine Ringwald explains how the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act “would severely disable protection and advocacy organizations from protecting the civil, legal and human rights of people in mental health services.” “Whether you examine it through a scientific, civil rights or bottom-line lens, Murphy's bill should appall you,” she writes. “Any legislation that bolsters institutionalization at the cost of community-based services seeks not to help those with mental health needs, but help society find ways to hide, suppress and silence them.”

We Need to Encourage People to Make Advance Directives

In this piece for STAT, Jennifer Adaeze Okwerekwu describes the value of psychiatric advance directives for those at risk of experiencing an emotional crisis. "'It’s something that can...

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