Friday, February 16, 2018

The Easily-Insulted Tom Zubik

I hesitate to write much bad about this guy, who apparently has Jeff Pharis’ old job of Forensic Program Director at DSH. One client tells me he was a good social worker. He also has a good military record, which echos positively in the way he presents himself.

But Tom Zubik did a strange thing yesterday.

Zubik was attending a staffing and saying very little, allowing the infamously malicious Dr. Malice (Malis) to assure my client that he wanted to use the staffing time to cover what he thought were the most important subjects (and of course, his evaluation of importance cannot be questioned because he’s the psychiatrist!), only piping up once or twice to say all policies at DSH are secret, so “patients” are not allowed to actually see them or know what they really are.... One such policy was supposedly an excuse for my client being prevented from communicating with her dying father; another was an excuse for her being prohibited from reviewing her own medical records.

(Who knows? Maybe there are such policies. Maybe the particular cruel and ridiculous applications are completely necessary and logical. But Zubik flatly asserted that nobody is allowed to see the policies, thus, it’s fair to wonder. Maybe Zubik thinks he’s a colonel running an Army National Guard unit, and everybody has to obey his orders without question or hesitation. Such discipline might better be directed toward staff who’d like to sexually abuse patients.)

At some point the staffing devolved a bit into complex or obscure complaints and arguments. I thought we should move along, so I told my client, almost in a scolding tone, “Come on! You know perfectly well why procedures are so complicated here: These people have to pretend to do things that they have no idea how to actually do!”

I think that was a fair statement, or at least a reasonable interpretation, of reality. Perhaps cynical, but predictable coming from me, for anyone who knows me. DSH is a pretended “hospital” — Dr. Malice is a pretended “brain doctor” — my client is diagnosed with a pretended “disease”. And it’s not as though DSH staff are the only ones pretending. They probably believe in this stuff when they start out, thinking they can help people. The public pretends that forensic psychiatry helps people when it’s nothing more than a plantation system. I was letting the particular guys in the room off the hook in some sense. It’s legal slavery, after all.

Well, excuse me for being an abolitionist.... Zubik immediately ended the staffing (which was a statutorily mandated monthly proceeding that had not yet served its purpose pursuant to the law), because my comment about all the pretending was so insulting.

I actually don’t believe he was anywhere near as insulted as he claimed. I can’t imagine that such a strong, military and professional personality would be quite so emotionally or psychologically delicate.

Maybe Zubik had some other meeting he had to get to. He should have just said so.

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