Sunday, April 22, 2018

To all DSH staff

Most of you just do your jobs, collect your pay and try to stay out of trouble. There’s something noble about that, especially in the context of working for the state. It harkens back a bit, to the Greatest Generation of Americans who boarded ships at age nineteen or twenty in 1942, went overseas and fought the war just because they were told it was their job.

Then in 1946, they were suddenly told their new job was to come home, make money and have babies. So they followed those orders and did that, too.

My father-in-law spoke of how everyone who was over there knew MacArthur was full of shit with his “I have returned!” moment, in front of all the cameras in the Philippines. Bob also remembered landing in a Japanese village a few days after the Nagasaki bomb, and while out in his Jeep scouting for fuel, arriving at the perimeter of what had recently been a city but was all dust in a flash. His cousins saw things just as bad in Europe. They all had good reason for utter, life-long cynicism and chronic depression.

I knew these men when they were fighting over the check for dinner in suburban restaurants, with their families there laughing at them. They’re all gone now, but I remember them as wonderful, noble people. They never wanted a better compliment than simply that they did their jobs.

Maybe some of you guys can imagine that as you respond to another code white, or check your computer for correct authorization or change the wording of your clinical note at the request of a superior, you are doing a job as right and as important as driving a Higgins boat full of terrified men toward a beach, or straining to see the approaching Panzers through a dark, frozen forest.

But I rather doubt that. Maybe it would be a symptom of major mental illness anyway, don’t tell Malis, he’ll drug you for sure.

When you see something that you know is wrong, somebody lying, somebody covering up, abusing patients, failing and refusing to help, you have to report it. That’s your job. It might seem hard and dangerous once in awhile, but it’s not as bad as being in a cold foxhole or almost to a beach.

It’s a funny thing, too, how putting all your attention and all your effort into staying out of trouble can make you a real magnet for bullets.

Psychiatria delenda est!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

An Offer for James Patrick Corcoran

My client John had a meeting today, with his treatment team and “administration” (the quotation marks are sarcastic, indicating that this is a dubiously defined entity used to deflect and disguise responsibility of specific individuals). Attendees from the clinical team included Psychiatrist Vikranjit Gill, Social Worker Virginia Mejia, and Psychologist Elias Pelacio; attending from “administration” were James Patrick Corcoran, Tom Zubik, and one or two others.

This was a meeting originally scheduled for a week earlier, to clarify “administration concerns” about a positive referral packet completed by the treatment team, for John to live at a particular community treatment facility which is already willing to accept him. Very few such facilities are willing to accept people who don’t take psychiatric medications, by the way; but this particular guy has been psychiatrically stable for a period of some years without any drugs. His criminal court judge ordered expanded privileges for him over the top of disagreement from the court’s own “independent evaluators” on the infamous tenth floor at 26th & California.

It seems that the only thing stopping a John’s conditional release is “administration concerns”. The clinical guys and the court have come to believe he’s no longer mentally ill and dangerous. But the meeting explicitly scheduled to clarify “administration concerns” didn’t. Instead, John was presented with what was actually called an offer, as if in negotiation. The facility (DSH) would support John’s release only if he: 1. attends three or four demeaning and childish “treatment groups” every day; 2. spends six months in a useless substance abuse program; 3. spends another six to twelve months on a different unit or in a facility nominally classified as low security; 4. spends a further six months in a coed treatment unit.

In other words, this “offer” from “administration” was an arbitrary sentence of an additional year and a half or two years of stricter confinement, for an individual who is not mentally ill and dangerous, and who is manifestly ready to be released. Why? It’s insane.

James Patrick Corcoran has it in for John because John doesn’t take psychiatric drugs, and yet he’s no longer “mentally ill” and he’s getting better.

I suggest the following offer in response, in the style of legendary Scottish warrior William Wallace.

If James Patrick Corcoran resigns immediately, repays every dollar he ever got at taxpayer expense, and personally apologizes to John and to each and every other so-called “patient” at DSH, in writing, for the fraud, constitutional rights violations, dehumanization, medical battery, and crimes against humanity, that he has spent his disgusting career committing under sickly ironic guises of “help” and “community protection”, and if he publishes every one of those apology letters on line; then and only then John and I, and various other DSH slaves who will soon be free, may not bother to spend the rest of our lives suing him and prosecuting him, and exposing his cruelty and lies.

Otherwise, Corcoran has no future. He’ll be like a Third Reich fugitive, with Mossad and Simon Wiesenthal always hot on his heels.

And of course, there’s one other point in this offer.... Corcoran must call the entire DSH staff together in the parking lot outside the Forensic Program Building, and in front of them he must put his head between his legs and kiss his own ass.

Psychiatria delenda est!