RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AS A MATTER OF COURSE

INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT AND FORCED PSYCHIATRIC DRUGGING IN THE TRIAL COURTS: RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AS A MATTER OF COURSE
JAMES B. (JIM) GOTTSTEIN*

http://psychrights.org/Research/Legal/25AkLRev51Gottstein2008.pdf

A commonly-held belief is that locking up and forcibly drugging people
diagnosed with mental illness is in their best interests as well as society’s as a
whole. The truth is far different. Rather than protecting the public from harm,
public safety is decreased. Rather than helping psychiatric respondents, many
are greatly harmed. The evidence on this is clear. Constitutional, statutory, and
judge-made law, if followed, would protect psychiatric respondents from being
erroneously deprived of their freedom and right to decline psychiatric drugs.
However, lawyers representing psychiatric respondents, and judges hearing
these cases uncritically reflect society’s beliefs and do not engage in legitimate
legal processes when conducting involuntarily commitment and forced
drugging proceedings. By abandoning their core principle of zealous advocacy,
lawyers representing psychiatric respondents interpose little, if any, defense and
are not discovering and presenting to judges the evidence of the harm to their
clients. By abandoning their core principle of being faithful to the law, judges
have become instruments of oppression, rather than protectors of the rights of
the downtrodden. While this Article focuses on Alaska, similar processes may be
found in other United States’ jurisdictions, with only the details differing.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………………….. 53
II. MYERS AND WETHERHORN………………………………………………………….. 55

About Torrey E. Fuller

Madman
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