Opposition to forced mental health treatment involves support for the repeal of mental health law. There is no legal sanction for forced treatment besides the law. If one doesn’t support the repeal of mental health law, one can’t be against forced mental health treatment, and vice versa. The two go hand in hand. There is no HIV law, there is no cancer law, there is no tuberculosis law, there is no common cold law, but yet there is a mental health law. I would be against the enacting of such health/illness laws, too. Without mental health law, there are all sorts of laws against false imprisonment, kidnapping, and assault to keep the state from engaging in such activities. With mental health law, imprisonment, kidnapping, and assault–what would in ordinary circumstances be termed mistreatment, or maltreatment–is magically transformed into medicine by proclamation.
Given mental health law, voluntary treatment is always voluntary in name only. A person can admit him or her self into the hospital, but if a doctor or doctors object to this individual leaving, he or she is stuck there. All the doctors and staff need to do is to ask for a court order, and then the formerly voluntary patient will be evaluated, and possibly face a commitment hearing. The units are locked, and people are not allowed to come and go at will. Thus voluntary treatment isn’t voluntary in point of fact.
When the locks are removed from the doors, and people are allowed to come and go as they please, then and only then will we have truly voluntary treatment. Voluntary treatment and forced treatment cannot exist side by side. The existence of one, being based upon power and violence, cancels out the other, being based on trust and mutual consent. Voluntary incarceration is an oxymoron, and a contradiction in terms. As we are dealing with psychiatric prisons that call themselves hospitals, this sleight of tongue can be the source of a great deal of confusion.
All we have to do to get the idea that something is amiss here is to compare the definitions of hospital and prison as provided by doing a search on Answers.com.
The definition given for hospital is as follows…
1. An institution that provides medical, surgical, or psychiatric care and treatment for the sick or the injured.
2. Chiefly British. A charitable institution, such as an orphanage or a home for the elderly.
3. A repair shop for specified items: a doll hospital.
4. Archaic. A hospice for travelers or pilgrims.
The definition of a prison is…
1. A place for the confinement of persons in lawful detention, especially persons convicted of crimes.
2. A place or condition of confinement or forcible restraint.
3. A state of imprisonment or captivity.
Putting aside the allusion to psychiatric “care” in the hospital definition, if there‘s any doubt that a psychiatric hospital has become “a place or condition of confinement or forcible restraint“ (i.e. a prison), somebody has neglected to sufficiently research the subject. A state hospital, that is, a psychiatric prison, is a place where people are confined and forcibly restrained.
Let’s not mince words, according the definitions we have a consulted, a mental patient in a locked psychiatric facility is a prisoner. If the mental patient were not a prisoner, he or she would be free to walk out the door wherever he or she desired to do so. They are not allowed to do so. They have been stripped of their liberties of movement and expression. They are confined to locked units. Confinement is imprisonment. Period.
Another alarming aspect of this matter is the fact that the primary forms of treatment used to treat patient/prisoners usually involves injuring the patient/prisoner, often against the will and wishes of the patient/prisoner. Some patient/prisoners are subjected to usually non-lethal electrocutions called Electro-convulsive shock therapy treatments. These ECT treatments always result in some memory loss. This memory loss indicates brain volume loss. Most patient/prisoners are put on neuroleptic drugs, and these drugs are proven brain damaging and life shortening poisons. No man or woman should, as happens in the mental health system, be subjected to these measures against his or her will and wishes. If a hospital is a place where the injured are treated, this treatment should never include further injury, as it all too often does in the mental health system. Therapeutic injury, in point of fact, is as much of an oxymoron as voluntary incarceration.
Violent criminals need to be held accountable for the crimes they commit regardless of the frame of mind they were in at the time of the commission of the crime. Crime is a matter of breaking the law. It is not a matter of pathology. The state has no business legislating medicine. The states business should be in protecting citizens instead. The NGRI (Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity) defense should be removed from the books. Mental health issues, in the criminal justice system, should be dealt with on a voluntary basis. When the stability of a suspect interferes with a court proceedings this interference shouldn’t forestall accountability. People who break the law, whether of sound mind or not, should be held accountable.
As is, due to mental health law, people have the right to receive mental health treatment, but they don’t have the right to refuse mental health treatment. This need for treatment is determined solely by a leap of judgment on the part of a psychiatrist or other designated professional. The targets of this action have few legal recourses to prevent this sort of action from taking place. Their constitutional rights, in fact, are circumvented in the commitment process. I support the rights of people to refuse mental health treatment. This is a right that will only come into being with the repeal of mental health law. Mental health law is actually forced treatment law. I am not against mental health treatment. A person should be allowed to receive such treatment if he or she wants it. I am against imposing mental health treatment on people who don‘t want it. Without mental health law, forcing treatment on a person is assault, and assault is illegal. This assault is conducted by the state. When the state puts itself above the very laws our representatives have enacted, and when it ceases to act in the interests of its citizens, all of its citizens, watch out! You could be next.
Filed under: Alternatives, Biological Psychiatry, Brain Damage, Discrimination, Force, Human Rights, Law, Mental Health Care, Misdiagnosis, Oppression, Politics, Psychiatric Drugs, State Hospital, Violence | 5 Comments »