Civil Liberties

Stories of Commitment

|

…but not the heartwarming, Hallmark kind. Over at the Daily Caller, former Reason intern Mike Riggs talks to three people who were committed to a mental health facility against their will.

NEXT: Common Cause: Citizens United Should Be Overturned Because Scalia and Thomas Attended a Koch Seminar

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Tell Palin, Bush and Reagan’s Ghost I said hi, Mike Riggs!

  2. Over at the Daily Caller, former Reason intern Mike Riggs talks to three people who were committed to a mental health facility against their will.

    In the aftermat of the Giffords shooting, apart from calls to ban guns and blood libels against conservative pundits, the next of the really stupid knee-jerk reactions: to give states the power to commit so-called “mentally disturbed” people against their will.

    1. Arizona already has that law

    2. Right on! And the default should be: We’re going to commit you when you reach puberty, unless you can convince us otherwise.

      1. …and we’ll keep you doped up on psychiatrist prescribed narcotics until then.

        1. Right on! It’s the only way to be sure.

    3. By definition, isn’t anyone who plays violent video games a “danger to themselves”?

      1. Crap. I’m in trouble… I can’t be trusted with myself.

        1. (Knock. Knock.) Candygram.

    4. I noticed that several media outlets have trashed Palin during the last few days for being a publicity whore. While she is a publicity whore, the suggestion that she interposed herself into the Tucson shooting is totally insane, since the same outlets have tried to make this about her (which was also totally insane). They aren’t even trying to make rational connections here–they just want to trash her as often as possible.

      What’s funny is that I doubt she’s even planning to run for the White House.

      1. I keep trying to tell my liberal friends that they are suffering from Palin Derangement Syndrome and that the main reason people like her is exactly because of the insane way that media and liberals react to her. Then I have to explain that I am not defending Palin, I just want her to go away; and that is not going to happen as long as people keep getting all frothed up about her.

        1. She’s like a catalyst to leftwing insanity. I enjoy that aspect of it, provided she stays out of high office.

        2. I keep trying to tell my liberal friends that they are suffering from Palin Derangement Syndrome

          The correct term is Palinoia – the irrational fear that Sarah Palin is out to getcha.

          1. I really don’t get it. She’s not like some freaky, hate-spewing radical. She’s really a pretty average conservative, with a little more populist appeal than usual these days. So what? Is it just because she’s a woman?

            1. Yes. It is because she is a woman. I came to that conclusion when whatching the ED show. The rwo people Ed trashes every day are Palin and Michelle Bachman.

            2. Yes. It is because she is a woman. I came to that conclusion when whatching the ED show. The rwo people Ed trashes every day are Palin and Michelle Bachman.

              1. To be fair, Michelle Bachman deserves it.

                1. Perhaps she does deserve criticism, but certainly not in the insane manner that Ed spews it out.

            3. I think it is because she’s a woman. A woman who actually achieved quite a bit without relying on her husband (unlike, say, Arianna Huffington or Hillary Clinto) and without the credentials that the political class adores (no Ivy diploma, no time in the DC circuit).

              Add to that the way she cuts against the feminist grain (lots of kids, husband, no abortion for her Downs kid, no abortion for her teenage daughter), and the fact that she is MILFy as all get-out, and you would be hard-pressed to put together a package more likely to send female liberals into a slavering fury.

              Male liberals, of course, are happy to follow the lead of the females.

              1. Males liberals, of course, are happy to follow the lead of the females.

              2. That’s because male liberals wish they were female liberals.

                1. Something hot about that 😉

      2. While she is a publicity whore

        Nothing wrong with that 😉

        Seriously, the men in politics are jut as “whoorish” and yet we don’t indentify them in the same manner

        1. Actually, I’d probably use that term for a male in the same position. With her, she’s doing it beyond politics–reality show, daughter on Dancing with the Stars, and so on.

        2. You’re right Rectal, the patriarchy is just trying to keep you down. That’s why I support your right to blogwhore yourself across the internets. Female empowerment, no matter how stupid, ugly, or boring!

          1. I love the new software I installed; I know that idiot helle has responded with something juvenile, imbecilic and I’ll never have to read him again. You’ll have to try to crawl back into someone else’s uterus. Epi?

            1. Retard what I write is never for you, it’s for everyone else that you annoy here. Whore.

  3. Well an intern should talk to the Reason senior editors on a regular basis wherever they may happen to reside.

  4. “On Gun Control and Violence”
    by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tx)
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul717.html

    The terrible violence in Arizona last weekend prompted much national discussion on many issues. All Americans are united in their sympathies for the victims and their families. All wonder what could motivate such a horrible act. However, some have attempted to use this tragedy to discredit philosophical adversaries or score political points. This sort of opportunism is simply despicable.

    We are fortunate to live in a society where violence is universally denounced. Not one public official or commentator has attempted to justify this reprehensible act, yet the newspapers, internet, and airwaves are full of people trying to claim it was somehow motivated by someone else’s political rhetoric. Most disturbing are the calls to use government power to censor certain forms of speech, and even outlaw certain types of criticism of public officials. This was the completely apolitical act of a violent and disturbed man. How sad that the attempted murder of the Congresswoman who had just read the First Amendment on the House floor would be used in efforts to chill free speech! Perhaps some would feel safer if the Alien and Sedition Acts were reinstated.

    Also troubling are the renewed calls for stricter gun control laws, and for government to “do something” to somehow prevent similar incidents in the future. This always seems to be the knee jerk reaction to any crime committed with a gun. Nonsensical proposals to outlaw guns around federal officials and install bulletproof barriers in the congressional gallery only reinforce the growing perception that politicians view their own lives as far more important than the lives of ordinary citizens. Politicians and a complicit media have conditioned many citizens to view government as our protector, leading to more demands for government action whenever tragedies occur. But this impulse is at odds with the best American traditions of self-reliance and individualism, and it also leads to bad laws and the loss of liberty.

    Remember ? liberty only has meaning if we still believe in it when terrible things happen and more government security is demanded. Government cannot make us safe by mandating security any more than it can make us prosperous by decreeing an end to poverty.

    We need to reaffirm the core American value of individual responsibility. Consider the young man who had the courage to tackle the shooter and prevent further carnage because he himself had a concealed weapon. Without that gun, he could have been yet another sitting duck. When peaceful citizens are armed, they at least have a chance against armed criminals.

    Advocates of gun control would urge us to leave our safety to law enforcement, but eyewitness reports indicate it took police as much as 20 minutes to arrive on the scene that day! Since police cannot be everywhere all of the time, a large part of our personal safety depends on our ability to defend ourselves.

    Our constitutional right to bear arms does not create a society without risks of violent crime, and neither would the strictest gun control laws. Guns and violence are a fact of life. The question is whether it is preferable to be defenseless while waiting for the police, or to have the option to arm yourself. We certainly know criminals prefer the former.

    1. When peaceful citizens are armed, they at least have a chance against armed criminals.

      That’s crazy talk! If citizens are armed, how can they be peaceful?

    2. You emphasis or Dr. No’s?

      //Wadda ‘ya mean “Read the link”?!?

  5. A possible suicide diagnosed by his friends, a ex-cop high on opiods, and a suicide attempt with helpful notification to friends and family in order for them to save him.

    None of these people should even be considered for involuntary commitment; nothing indicates they were a danger to someone else.

    1. Unfortunately the criteria is danger to themselves or others. In a society without self-ownership suicide is a crime.

      1. As it should be. A few days ago, I read abpout a woman who killed herself by jumping off of a freeway overpass. She was hit by several cars. This was very traumatic for the drivers involved.

        1. This woman was a danger to others not just to herself (admittedly it’s not exactly easy to know if a suicidal person is going to kill themselves in a way that endangers others or not).

  6. As a result, no state with an involuntary commitment law can hold a person for longer than 72 hours without a court order. Ironically, holding them for less than 72 hours is as easy as telling a paramedic, doctor or police officer that a person possibly poses a threat to themselves or others.

    This is not quite true. The “danger to themselves or others” is the requirement, but getting there (ie, declaring that) is a different thing entirely.

    In Washington, the only person who can make this declaration is a CDMHP or County Designated Mental Heal Professional.

    My wife works as a CDMHP, and I can assure you, the CDMHP signing the order to have someone committed is pretty rare. One has to be waaay down the rabbit hole before that order gets signed. There are people living in conditions that most anyone here would be horrified by, and even then they don’t meet that stringent standard.

    1. To get to the point of this, which is really an ancillary discussion about Jared Loughner, based on everything I’ve read, Loughner simply wouldn’t have met that standard. And personally, I’m quite happy with the rarity that people are committed against their will– at least in this state.

    2. Texas allows anyone to make the report, but as a practical matter a sheriff’s deputy with mental health training actually goes out to make the arrest and bring them to the hospital. The deputy does his/her own quickie evaluation, since they will have to certify that they had reason to believe, etc.

      1. All you need to be is a Texas resident? And can I anyone to it anonymously?

    3. Being taken to the ED for an evaluation just takes an officers signature. Most medics mention anything pertaining to a threat to the nurse they give report to and leave the decision to the hospital staff.

      Officer tells me as a medic this guy threatened to hurt himself and is willing to show up the ED for the signature and you get a stay in the room with no furniture and the lil’ window. Hell even if the officer doesn’t escort I would be bound to transport for eval if the patient agreed to it, which a lot of homeless will do. Especially in shitty weather.

  7. people who were committed to a mental health facility against their will

    Don’t be such a baby. If you’re not crazy, you have nothing to fear.

    1. If you are committed, they will help you.

  8. You know who’s potentially dangerous?

    Every fucking person in the country.

  9. You know who’s potentially dangerous?

    Every fucking person in the country.

    1. That’s why I don’t fuck.

    2. Sorry ’bout the double post. It ain’t my fault.

      I’m gonna kill me some Mumbai server squirrels, that’s what I’m gonna do.

      1. I dunno, J sub. Looks to me like that double post is a dead giveaway (oopsie) that your trigger finger is kinda itchy.

        1. I dunno, J sub. Looks to me like that double post is a dead giveaway (oopsie) that your trigger finger is kinda itchy.

          1. Sheriff’s department…I know this Reasonoid who is crazy, can you pick him up? No? They all are?

            1. Now now Rectal, as someone who has been in and out of mental hospitals your entire life, you should know better.

  10. Makes you wonder how much money is flushed down the toilet by robbing people of their Due Process. Yes, involuntary confinement without a court order IS a violation of Due Process, as you are depriving someone of their liberty. Why is no one suing?

    I bet some friggin’ Mrs. Killjoy is going to scream “it’s for the children!”

    1. More likely, it’s that serious mental illness is viewed as compromising a person’s ability to give consent; as such, “voluntary” and “involuntary” become questionable terms — after all, a person brought into a hospital in a comatose state does not give consent to be kept there, but this is not “imprisonment”.

  11. You know who’s potentially dangerous?

    Every fucking person in the country.

    1. You know what’s dangerous? Triple posts!

  12. You know who’s potentially dangerous?

    Every fucking person in the country.

  13. You know who’s potentially dangerous?

    Every fucking person in the country.

    1. OK, you’ve made your point!

      Jesus, those multiple posts are driving me crazy. Oops, I didn’t mean crazy. I meant they are mildly annoying.
      [knock knock]
      Fuck. Too late.

  14. So these people didn’t get the chance to contact anyone?

  15. I suspect that a profit motive is to blame for the overuse of this policy. The article fails to mention the bill these people get for a service they never asked for. If the state had to pick up the tab they would be more likely to focus on the truly necessary commitments.

    1. The vast majority of emergency detentions are of indigent people. Nobody’s making any money off of them, matt.

      1. I’ve read some horror stories of the elderly being declared incompetent, the state taking their assets, putting them in homes, and using their funds for their care. IIRC, a percentage is charged for the administration of their estates

  16. I’ve transported evaluations. Police always call the medics to do it. As RC points most are indigent (bumcicles in the winter) or the poor with mental health or drug issues. It’s a shitty call to make when the person isn’t clearly at risk like the patient is screaming get the spiders out of my veins. (I convinced him an IV would do just that and killed 2 birds with one stone, calm patient and got my IV lol)

    In fairness to ED docs and shrinks (that I knew) it usually took a lot for them to transfer someone to the state nut orchard. I’m guessing some people abuse the power to evaluate and commit, which is scary and sad.

    1. hmm is a medic. What city should I never get into an accident again? 😉

      1. …says the professional blogwhore.

        1. Whoa, Rather is getting paid for this?

          1. I never said she gets paid. From what I’ve seen so far Rectal subsists solely on cat urine and feces. She pays for her internet and crack addiction by renting out her cunt as a pickling factory.

          2. Am I the only one who received a free ticket to the cruise?

            1. Am I the only one who received a free ticket to the cruise?

              So, the human sacrifice is back on the program between Martinique and St. Maarten? Guess I’m going after all.

              1. Silly, you need a virgin for that-does ass virgin count?

      2. No longer a medic. Assumption fail. But not a surprising one.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.