Monday, February 3, 2014

Abused by a psychiatrist

Dr. Alicia S. Martin, M.D., was a staff psychiatrist at Elgin Mental Health Center in Illinois for some years. She just retired last week.

I define psychiatric abuse as physical, emotional, social or financial injury, harm, damages, fraud or deception, perpetrated in the name of or under cover of mental healing.

Dr. Martin abused her patients, her employers (Illinois taxpayers, including me) and many other people. I would guess that she did it for money, to satisfy her appetite for personal status, and to cover up the fact that she had no idea how to do the job she was supposed to do, among other possible motives.

It is freely and officially acknowledged by mental health professionals generally, and by those employed in institutions run by the Illinois Department of Human Services, that treatment of the mentally ill should occur according to collaborative plans which consider a patient's views. The State's Mental Health Code actually requires this model (see 405 ILCS 5/2-102) for involuntary patients.

Part of the reason is that we all want to believe we can refrain from brute force, because we're so modern and scientific and compassionate. I'm cynical about it from the long view, but I'm usually willing to give some benefit of doubt to individuals.

Another part of the reason is that coerced or forced "treatment" almost always does more harm than good, so well-intended people try pretty hard to stay away from it.

But things have not gone well over the last century or so in forensic psychiatry. Society started to expect miracle cures from medicine, and psychiatry started to insist it was a medical specialty. So by the middle of the Twentieth Century, psychiatrists were on the hook to save American communities from all bad behavior, especially violence. Beginning in the 1960's, they sought to fulfill this new duty by fine-tuning the brain chemistry of people who committed violent crimes or otherwise behaved badly enough to land in the criminal justice system.

The whole concept was a categorical, miserable failure, ultimately acknowledged as such from the very top of the "scientific research" food chain.

But today we're stuck with a court system and a huge, bureaucratic, alternative custody establishment, which once had high hopes that psychiatry would make bad people good, and which remains more or less unaware that it was all nonsense from the get-go. Elgin Mental Health Center is a clear demonstration. They talk about collaborative treatment models even as they routinely and constantly coerce their "patients" (slaves) to take dehumanizing, harmful neuroleptic drugs.

Once in awhile some not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity ("NGRI") murder acquittee says he/she doesn't want to take the drugs anymore, doesn't believe the drugs help, doesn't agree with the whole psychiatric view of things. The system can't really tolerate such dissent.

What happens then is this... The patient's psychiatrist files a petition for involuntary administration of psychotropic medication under Section 2-107.1. It's not entirely inconceivable that such a petition could be filed in good faith; however, most of the time everyone involved knows perfectly well that while the court is theoretically being asked for an order giving clinicians complete discretion to torture a human being, the real intention is merely to convince a particular recalcitrant patient and any others who might take an example to "consent voluntarily" to take their psychiatric drugs.

Dr. Alicia S. Martin filed such a petition in October, against a client of mine. This patient had actually stopped taking his medication unbeknownst to her sometime earlier, and he was feeling much better for that. He told me that without the drugs, he could suddenly think clearly and even read. He didn't feel like a zombie anymore, and he liked that. He wasn't causing any trouble on the clinical unit at Elgin, not fighting or threatening anyone.

The petition recited lots of "history" and many opinions and conclusions, but few if any actual facts. Our motion to dismiss was denied, but the court granted requests for formal civil discovery including leave to take Dr. Martin's sworn deposition.

Confronted with a deposition, Dr. Martin retired and the petition was withdrawn. Oops....

This was ABUSE.

It was attempted extortion of the patient, who was only exercising his right to make his own medical decision by informed consent. There was absolutely no deterioration, suffering or threatening behavior which could have justified involuntary administration of psychotropic medication under the law. The petitioner knew that very well. She proved it by running away from a deposition!

At best, if any genuine mental "treatment" of this patient had in fact been possible, it was delayed for those three months when he was being threatened with court sanctioned torture at the hands of the people who were supposed to help him.

This particular petition was only one nefarious act within the larger racket. The machine cannot run efficiently and legally at the same time, because the statutory and constitutional requirements of "least restrictive environment" and consideration for informed consent cannot be satisfied without revealing the utter falsehood... that mental illness is known brain disease, and psychiatrists know how to treat it with drugs. Section 2-107.1 petitions are simply the preferred tactic to evade those requirements.

Alicia Martin defrauded the taxpayers of Illinois for years by collecting her state salary under the false pretense that she could do the job they were willing to pay her for. She continues to defraud them if she collects any pension in her retirement.

To cover up the lie and the fraud, Dr. Martin's patients were coerced and occasionally brutally forced, to take drugs which harmed them and caused permanent disability (diabetes, tardive dyskenesia) and/or early death. They were also carefully taught to lie, to back up the rotten system by pretending they had been helped, after they were released into the community. 

The implications are even darker over the years. More and more disabled dependents nurse bitter grudges and wait to take their vengeance against the world if they can ever covertly engineer sufficient recovery to work, and plan, and perhaps buy a gun....

Dr. Martin's "patients" were never cured or effectively treated. They were ABUSED.

So was I. And so were YOU!