Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Comments by Andrews Mom

Showing 4 of 4 comments.

  • Yes, as Justice Brandeis said in 1928:
    “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

    Justice Louis D. Brandeis, dissenting, Olmstead v. United States, 277 US 479 (1928)

  • Thanks for the input. I did form a nonprofit, andrewsvoice.org (V.O.I.C.E. stands for victory over involuntary commitment excesses). I set it up as a 501(c)(4), because I also registered as a lobbyist and there are limitations on doing that as a (c)(3). My plan for the (c)(4) was to take on Wisconsin’s version of Kendra’s law; and ultimately attack it in the other 46 states that have enacted it. It took Torrey and the Treatment Advocacy Center 20 years and millions of dollars to get those laws in place, so I’m under no illusions about the task ahead of me. But in the process of getting in the trenches and representing people like Andrew, trapped in an endless cycle of forced treatment, I’ve become aware of the huge need for zealous, informed advocacy of people who are struggling, and dying, in this broken system. Maybe I can’t do it all, but I will keep trying until I draw my last breath.

  • I spent 10 years doing legal work for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. That group provided legal counsel to farmers who were being harassed by the government. It also did policy work, advocating for change in state and federal laws that restricted food freedom. I’d like to work with a legal nonprofit group to organize something similar for victims of involuntary mental health treatment. We could have a core group of attorneys knowledgeable in mental health law, which would support a national network of pro bono attorneys to help people in all 50 states. We could also operate a hotline 24/7 for both legal issues and non-legal peer support. We could organize a network of experts (psychiatrists, psychologists, and researchers) who understand the destructive and health damaging effects of widely prescribed psychotropic medications. These experts would be called upon to provide testimony in commitment hearings via videoconference. These are all things I was able to do as lead counsel and executive director of FTCLDF. I think I could secure a grant to fund some of this. Please let me know if you have a suggestion for a nonprofit I could work with.