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Involuntary Treatment

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OPINION
September 25, 2002
Re "A Legal Threat to Mentally Ill," Voices, Sept. 21: I strongly disagree with Sally Zinman and her article on the mentally ill. I believe my son could have been saved by involuntary mental health treatment. He believed that everyone else was sick but himself. (That was his paranoia.) Yes, he threatened to "cut me up and flush me down the toilet," and he tried to hire someone to kill me. This was just his sickness. He never followed through. I tried everything I could to persuade him to seek treatment.
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OPINION
May 30, 2012
Re "How to house homeless vets," Opinion, May 28 I wonder why so many of us see the need (as Bobby Shriver so eloquently states in his Op-Ed article) and yet do nothing about it. We owe much more to our military veterans than what is given. We, the American people, expect the military to protect us, regardless of what it costs those in the military. And when they need our help, we ignore their needs. What is the next step to help homeless veterans? What is the next step to help the veteran who, for whatever reason, is unable to find a job?
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2000
Two separate tragedies played out in The Times on Dec. 16 ("City to Pay $975,000 in Police Killing of Homeless Woman" and "Driver Who Killed 2 Children Given 2 Life Terms"). The family of Margaret Mitchell was awarded $975,000 for the shooting death of their mentally ill mother. And Steven Abrams, the schizophrenic who killed the children at the Costa Mesa preschool, received two life sentences. Both tragedies could have been avoided if California's mental health laws had required that the protagonists receive involuntary treatment before the danger occurred.
NATIONAL
August 31, 2011 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
Prison doctors are violating the rights of Tucson shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner by forcibly medicating him with drugs more powerful than needed to control his outbursts, defense lawyers told a federal appeals court Tuesday. The three-judge panel weighing Loughner's plea for an end to the involuntary medication with anti-psychotic drugs appeared sensitive to the defendant's legal arguments that, as he hasn't been tried on the 49 felony counts against him, he should retain the right to decide what drugs go into his body.
OPINION
May 6, 2001
Thank you for your April 30 editorial, "Make Chris Take His 'Meds."' It gave a true account of what happens to many precious individuals and the families who love them when no-fault mental illness strikes. Concerned families know that any family member seriously ill with any disease must get early intervention and immediate treatment in order to avoid a life-threatening crisis. Mental illness is no different! Yet, because of archaic laws enacted when methods of treatment and medications were also archaic, families of the mentally ill must watch helplessly and wait, and wait ... until the illness reaches obscene crises that lead to possible acute hospitalizations, violence, suicide or incarceration.
NEWS
August 18, 1994 | ELIZABETH SHOGREN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The temperature had climbed above 90 degrees, but Tressa, a slender 20-year-old woman sitting on a park bench outside the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, was wearing five layers of clothing. The holes in her jeans were stuffed with cardboard. Her shoes were wrapped in silver duct tape. She had occupied the same bench every day, all day, for the last five months. A psychiatrist and a nurse, members of an outreach organization called Project Help, were trying one last time to persuade her to enter the Bellevue Hospital Center psychiatric ward voluntarily.
OPINION
May 30, 2012
Re "How to house homeless vets," Opinion, May 28 I wonder why so many of us see the need (as Bobby Shriver so eloquently states in his Op-Ed article) and yet do nothing about it. We owe much more to our military veterans than what is given. We, the American people, expect the military to protect us, regardless of what it costs those in the military. And when they need our help, we ignore their needs. What is the next step to help homeless veterans? What is the next step to help the veteran who, for whatever reason, is unable to find a job?
NEWS
December 17, 1987 | PHILIP HAGER, Times Staff Writer
In a decision that could affect thousands of the mentally ill, a state Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday that mental patients committed involuntarily to health facilities may legally refuse to take anti-psychotic drugs. The three-member panel held unanimously that patients cannot be forced to undergo such treatment except in emergencies or when a judge--not just a physician--finds they are incapable of making an informed choice.
NEWS
February 17, 1999 | DAN MORAIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A legislative committee Tuesday took the first steps toward changing a 30-year-old state law that makes it all but impossible to force mentally ill people into treatment unless they commit crimes. The effort led by Assemblywoman Helen Thomson (D-Davis) stirred the passions of opponents of forced treatment, as dozens crammed a hearing room and held a rally outside the Capitol saying that civil liberties are being threatened.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 13, 2000 | CARLA JACOBS, Carla Jacobs is on the boards of directors of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and the Treatment Advocacy Center. She is co-chair of the LPS Reform Task Force
A measure pending in the state Legislature would reform California's antiquated involuntary treatment laws concerning mental illness. Sen. John Burton revels in his reputation as a champion of civil rights and protector of the people. Yet as chair of the Senate Rules Committee, he has thrown the democratic process to the wind by refusing to allow a lifesaving bill, AB 1800, a fair hearing in front of the Senate.
OPINION
September 25, 2002
Re "A Legal Threat to Mentally Ill," Voices, Sept. 21: I strongly disagree with Sally Zinman and her article on the mentally ill. I believe my son could have been saved by involuntary mental health treatment. He believed that everyone else was sick but himself. (That was his paranoia.) Yes, he threatened to "cut me up and flush me down the toilet," and he tried to hire someone to kill me. This was just his sickness. He never followed through. I tried everything I could to persuade him to seek treatment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 29, 2002 | CARL INGRAM and MIGUEL BUSTILLO, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Landmark legislation that would commit mentally ill people to involuntary treatment programs if a court found that they were likely to become dangerous without special intervention was approved Wednesday by the Senate. The bill cleared the upper house as the Legislature plowed toward scheduled adjournment Saturday with hundreds of bills in play and no sign of an end to the state budget stalemate that has plagued lawmakers and Gov. Gray Davis all summer.
OPINION
May 6, 2001
Thank you for your April 30 editorial, "Make Chris Take His 'Meds."' It gave a true account of what happens to many precious individuals and the families who love them when no-fault mental illness strikes. Concerned families know that any family member seriously ill with any disease must get early intervention and immediate treatment in order to avoid a life-threatening crisis. Mental illness is no different! Yet, because of archaic laws enacted when methods of treatment and medications were also archaic, families of the mentally ill must watch helplessly and wait, and wait ... until the illness reaches obscene crises that lead to possible acute hospitalizations, violence, suicide or incarceration.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2000
Two separate tragedies played out in The Times on Dec. 16 ("City to Pay $975,000 in Police Killing of Homeless Woman" and "Driver Who Killed 2 Children Given 2 Life Terms"). The family of Margaret Mitchell was awarded $975,000 for the shooting death of their mentally ill mother. And Steven Abrams, the schizophrenic who killed the children at the Costa Mesa preschool, received two life sentences. Both tragedies could have been avoided if California's mental health laws had required that the protagonists receive involuntary treatment before the danger occurred.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 13, 2000 | CARLA JACOBS, Carla Jacobs is on the boards of directors of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and the Treatment Advocacy Center. She is co-chair of the LPS Reform Task Force
A measure pending in the state Legislature would reform California's antiquated involuntary treatment laws concerning mental illness. Sen. John Burton revels in his reputation as a champion of civil rights and protector of the people. Yet as chair of the Senate Rules Committee, he has thrown the democratic process to the wind by refusing to allow a lifesaving bill, AB 1800, a fair hearing in front of the Senate.
NEWS
June 2, 2000 | DAN MORAIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A day after the Assembly approved legislation to expand treatment of severely mentally ill people against their will, key state senators vowed Thursday to work to derail the measure. The bill by Assemblywoman Helen Thomson (D-Davis) marks the first major attempt in a decade to revise a landmark law passed more than 30 years ago that granted broad civil rights to the mentally ill, and sped the emptying of California's state hospitals.
NEWS
June 2, 2000 | DAN MORAIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A day after the Assembly approved legislation to expand treatment of severely mentally ill people against their will, key state senators vowed Thursday to work to derail the measure. The bill by Assemblywoman Helen Thomson (D-Davis) marks the first major attempt in a decade to revise a landmark law passed more than 30 years ago that granted broad civil rights to the mentally ill, and sped the emptying of California's state hospitals.
NATIONAL
August 31, 2011 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
Prison doctors are violating the rights of Tucson shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner by forcibly medicating him with drugs more powerful than needed to control his outbursts, defense lawyers told a federal appeals court Tuesday. The three-judge panel weighing Loughner's plea for an end to the involuntary medication with anti-psychotic drugs appeared sensitive to the defendant's legal arguments that, as he hasn't been tried on the 49 felony counts against him, he should retain the right to decide what drugs go into his body.
NEWS
February 17, 1999 | DAN MORAIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A legislative committee Tuesday took the first steps toward changing a 30-year-old state law that makes it all but impossible to force mentally ill people into treatment unless they commit crimes. The effort led by Assemblywoman Helen Thomson (D-Davis) stirred the passions of opponents of forced treatment, as dozens crammed a hearing room and held a rally outside the Capitol saying that civil liberties are being threatened.
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