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Location: Takoma Park, Maryland, United States

I'm now a 52-year-old American male raised as an Episcopalian, veteran of submarines, Peace Corps, and State Department. I like teaching people about what they can do with computers and have gotten by as an independent Microsoft trainer teaching networking, but I really hope to someday find a way to make a living traveling on my motorcycle, camping, and writing about places and people I meet along the way.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Susan: to be continued

Friends of Susan attending the hearing, yesterday. It was pretty depressing. Obviously, the federal institution has taken a toll on her and done nothing to treat her except insist on medications, which she refuses.

Her hearing will be continued on Tuesday.

Some of us are trying to raise money for a private attorney: Liz Fink. Meeting Liz at the hearing was the one spot of hope, in the day. There have been times when justice has prevailed for those incarcerated, as it did for the Attica prisoners who Liz represented.

The picture I came away with is that we have a prison system, run by for-profit enterprises, and a forensic psychology industry run by drug companies. The psychiatrists who testified seemed to be people who had only worked within the prison system or within academic circles. I heard nothing about any of their own patients who had ever been healed by their intended therapies. Their responses to the risks of side-effects for medication, some of which it turns out can be fatal or result in additional paranoia and distrust, were clearly disingenious and evasive.

It seemed to me there was a hunger, among the professionals testifying, for Susan to become a patient. The opinion of many, including some with direct experience in federal mental facilitis, is that if Susan gets sent to Carswell it is likely she will die there. The parallels with Martha Mitchell, during Watergate, are just numbing. Remember, that it was Susan's Republican father who first raised the claims that she was delusional and suicidal, and that all of the medical reports find she is not suicidal. Susan, herself, reports that the doctors in Carswell very gleefully described what they would do to her upon her return, pointing out one of the more catatonic inmates as an example of her inability to prevent them.

The situation is not entirlye without hope. The judge is regarded to be a good judge.

If funds become available to pay for private medical care, it can be prescribed instead of Carswell. But we're talking about $100,000+ a year, paid monthly.

Susan, it turns out, was declared incompetent to stand trial by a Psychiatrist appointed by the court. I'm told that this was a pretty poor strategy for a defense attorney. Susan did not wish to pursue her defense, in that manner, repeatedly requested that her attorney contact witnesses and mount a real defense. We determined that the psychiatrists who found her claims delusional had not contacted her witnesses, either. One of them, Park Godfrey, attended the hearing but was given no opportunity to testify.

No doubt, a prison sentence would be preferable to the grey uncertainty of being a guinea pig for the experiments these doctors have in mind. Should, by some miracle, she be restored to competency, in their estimation, she will then be subject to the same prison sentences as she is now.

Of course, all the studies about the usefulness of medications are based upon trials funded by grants from drug companies. How many non-drug methods do you think have been studied?

No mention of what we are recently learning about the need for patients to be exposed to nature, rather than institutional confines.

Very depressing.

The basis for the diagnosis of "psychosis not otherwise defined" was mostly the writings in her journals from previous years. It seems that if someone has religious visions, or speaks with angels, and admits it, even privately, this can become the basis for the state's intervention in your life. Moses and the burning bush is not going to be allowed by the powerful in this modern age.


Anonymous Daniel Haszard said...

Appreciate your blog,mental health consumers are the least capable of self advocacy,my doctors made me take zyprexa for 4 years which was ineffective for my symptoms.I now have a victims support page against Eli Lilly for it's Zyprexa product causing my diabetes.--Daniel Haszard www.zyprexa-victims.com

3:02 PM  

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