1. Discuss politics - join our community by registering for free here! HOP - the political discussion forum

Should Parents Be Able To Forcibly Commit Adult Children?

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by GBFan, May 31, 2014.

  1. GBFan

    GBFan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    109
    The case for legislation to bypass privacy laws so families can get help for an adult child with mental illness was made compellingly last week, when the parents of Isla Vista shooter Elliot Rodger separately sped to the scene where they suspected their son would go on a rampage.

    Tragically, they were too late to stop the killing, but their heartbreaking attempt to intervene on that day, and on other days, represents a familiar pattern where family members know there’s a problem, but the law prohibits commitment to a psychiatric facility without clear evidence the person is a danger to himself and others.

    At a hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday prompted by the Isla Vista shooting, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Michael Welner noted that local police had checked out Rodger at his mother’s request and concluded, “Nice boy, have a good day.” The parents knew otherwise but didn’t have the tools to act. Their son was in therapy, but he was so invested in his plan of exacting retribution for the grievances he suffered that “he could write and rewrite and stage manage a production for You Tube with the best camera angles from his director father,” said Welner.

    Local police had checked out Rodger at his mother’s request and concluded, “Nice boy, have a good day.” The parents knew otherwise but didn’t have the tools to act.
    The notion that people who commit acts like this “snap” is put to rest by writings that show the shooter contemplating his horrific deed since 2012. Based on the way they sprang into action on Friday, his family had more than an inkling of what might be ahead. “We have to appreciate that if someone smells trouble, we’ve got to trust family, and we’re not giving families the wherewithal to direct treatment,” said Welner.

    The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act would allow families to intervene without being blocked by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which has rigorous privacy guidelines that prevent family members from gaining access to medical records or making decisions for children over 18. Edward Kelley, whose son has schizophrenia, described the “virtual madness” he and his wife have endured in the 11 years since their son turned 18. There have been multiple hospitalizations, numerous encounters with the law, and for a time he lived under a bridge. He doesn’t believe he is ill, and refuses medication. His parents didn’t always know where he was, and hospitals refused to reveal information about his treatment, or even tell them if he had been released.

    Kelley identified with what the Isla Vista shooter’s family must be feeling. In the extensive manifesto discovered in the young man’s apartment, “That kid acknowledged how isolated and frustrated he was. That’s his mental illness talking. His parents knew a long time ago."

    The Mental Health Crisis Act is sponsored by Republican Tim Murphy, a clinical psychologist, and it has 82 co-sponsors, including a number of Democrats. It seems like a no-brainer to create what’s called a carve-out in HIPAA for families dealing with serious mental illness, but nothing is easy on Capitol Hill, and DJ Jaffe, a self-described “Uber-Democrat” and founder and executive director of Mental Illness Policy Organization, went right to the heart of matter. “I get calls all the time from parents wanting help for adult children and the system turns them away. It’s an unpleasant truth, some seriously mentally ill people need to be in hospitals,” he said. “Some people are so sick they don’t know they’re sick. When you see someone yelling, ‘I’m the Messiah,’ it’s not because they think they’re the Messiah, they KNOW they’re the Messiah—and as the Messiah, they’re never going to volunteer for treatment.”

    Democrats don’t like anything that smacks of coercion. It conjures up the bad old days when people were warehoused in institutions. Opposition to Murphy’s legislation comes from some mental health advocacy groups and from SAMSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Whenever money is involved for federal programs, there’s a divide between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats say the Mental Health Crisis Act “takes a hatchet” to SAMSA and eliminates “a basketful of programs,” including the National Suicide Prevention Program and the National Minority Aids initiative. “They’re jumping to the conclusion these programs are not effective,” says a Democratic aide. Democrats are also wary of opening up the HIPAA law, fearing unintended negative consequences.

    “I’m about as liberal as you can get,” says Jaffe, “but for too long we Democrats have failed to recognize not everyone will recover…and involuntary treatment is not always a bad thing.”

    He puts the number of people with serious mental illness at 4 or 5 percent of the population, and for this small subset of people, he advocates expanding Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT). It has been successful where tried, especially in New York, and a pilot federal program has been approved and is waiting for funding in the congressional appropriations process. After full due process and with a lawyer, a judge can order six months of monitored treatment in the community. Jaffe calls the approach “an off ramp before jail, a fence at the edge of the cliff rather than an ambulance at the bottom.”

    Political infighting aside, families dealing with serious mental health issues will welcome these modest but transformative changes that recognize the urgency to treat, or confine, a person in crisis before there is tragedy.
     
  2. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    17,848
    Likes Received:
    1,464
    Location:
    Wandering around
    Rodgers therapist could have seen to it but he wll never be held accountable.
     
  3. GBFan

    GBFan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    109

    But, of course, he/she is restricted by privacy laws and client-doctor relationships from reporting ... unless we change the laws.
     
  4. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    17,848
    Likes Received:
    1,464
    Location:
    Wandering around
    No. Not true. They are required by law to report those who are a danger to themselves and/or others. But they wont do it for fear if losing patients (or $ more correctly). They must be held accountable for their failings.

    Shrinks lie, kids die.
     
  5. GBFan

    GBFan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    109
    Actually, that's kinda sorta true ... if a professional reports a client who might be a danger to themselves or others, the professional is liable for his decision. That means, if the client can find another doctor who says that wasn't true, then the client can sue.

    That's why it virtually never happens .... the client can find a doctor to say whatever he wants somewhere ... thus, ensuring that the professional WILL get sued and lose his license.
     
  6. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    17,848
    Likes Received:
    1,464
    Location:
    Wandering around
    How would they know ? It would be in the registration system and block sales like to the VATech korean killer. Its an opinion no grounds for suit. And if all shrinks were held accountable for blocking the issue would be finding patients.
     
  7. GBFan

    GBFan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    109
    How would who know? When the police go to the judge to get a warrant, they are required to divulge their evidence. A statement from the guy's psychiatrist will, of course, be shown, and then, later, exposed to the guy's attorney.

    When a second professional says that the guy isn't a threat, then the guy has recourse to sue to the original psychiatrist, and will win - whether it be defamation of character, violation of doctor-patient privilege, or unauthorized release of restricted medical data.

    The doc is going down ...

    But, besides that, should a parent be able to have a person committed based on THEIR belief the guy is a threat?
     
  8. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    17,848
    Likes Received:
    1,464
    Location:
    Wandering around
    Why are cops going to houses ? H3s reported as a danger entry goes in the existing database he goes to buyba gun and is told no. Or he doesnt try to buy a gun and ni one is the wiser.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice