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16 December 2012

Why Do The Rights Of The Mentally Ill To Live Their "Fiercely, Independent Lifestyle Choices" Trump The Rights of Americans To "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"?

Loughner, Cho, Holmes, Kleibold, Harris, Lanza and on and on.

The same thing was said after each went on his rampage and, no, I am not referring to the predictable chorus of Absolute Shalls bewailing the fact that Americans have a right to bear arms. No, I am referring to the fact that, after each one, the people that knew them said, “I feel bad for the victims, but I’m not surprised. The dude was a mental case. Always has been.” 

Yet, the ACLU and other Absolute Shalls will argue that the clearly mentally ill are just exercising another “lifestyle choice” and we can’t make value judgements on which lifestyles are "socially acceptable and normal" and which are "abnormal and socially deviant."  Instead, we have to “be tolerant” and “embrace diversity.”
Miss Brown, whom court papers identify as Billie Boggs – a false name that she gave when she was hospitalized – was seized last Oct. 28 on Second Avenue at 65th Street, in front of a hot-air vent where, she said, she had lived for more than year.

The state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, is considering an appeal by Miss Brown of a split lower-court decision that she had been properly picked up by the city. In a series of hearings, city psychiatrists depicted her as a dirty, disheveled and abusive person who lived in her own excrement, engaged in strange behavior and suffered from chronic paranoid schizophrenia, the disorder in which a person gradually loses touch with reality.

Psychiatrists brought in by the New York Civil Liberties Union, which represented Miss Brown, said she either suffered from less serious mental problems or had worked out ”a fearless, independent life style” that worked for her.

Dr. Cournos said yesterday that her professional opinion was that ”Ms. Boggs suffers from a serious mental illness,” either schizophrenia or a manic-depressive disorder, which is characterized by mood swings and inflated self-esteem.

”I believe that Billie Boggs suffers from a mental illness that would benefit from medication and that there are no less-intrusvie treatments that are likely to be effective,” Dr. Cournos said.

BUT (Emphasis mine), she added, forcing Miss Brown to take medication could be harmful, rather than helpful. She noted that Miss Brown, a former drug addict, vehemently opposed the use of medication, had a network of friends to support her, and HAD THE ”PARTIAL CAPACITY” TO MAKE HER OWN DECISIONS.

”Should she do poorly after discharge and require rehospitalization,” Dr. Cournos said, ”the decision about medication can and, in my opinion, should be reconsidered at that time.”

The psychiatrist who has treated Miss Brown at Bellevue, Dr. Maeve Mahon, has testified in court that she expected Miss Brown to deteriorate in ”three to four days” if she were released, even to a hotel room in a supervised residence in midtown that has been set aside for her.

The ACLU will tell us that a mentally ill woman, who defecates in public, is a fierce, brave, and independent soul and we have no right to judge her or deny her “her right” to live amongst us, but the rights of Americans to own firearms - a constitutionally-protected right - must be infringed upon through laws or regulations to protect the public from the actions that the former might take.

If the Absolute Shalls had their way, the rights of 100 million, law-abiding Americans, who own guns, would be sacrificed before we ever were allowed to question the “right” of the mentally ill, who are dangers to themselves and society, to live their “fearless, independent lifestyles that work for them.”


From Ann Althouse:

"Curiously, during the period before deinstitutionalization, the mentally ill seem to have been less likely to be arrested for serious crimes than the general population."

"Studies in New York and Connecticut from the 1920s through the 1940s showed a much lower arrest rate for the mentally ill. In an era when involuntary commitment was relatively easy, those who were considered a danger to themselves or others would be hospitalized at the first signs of serious mental illness. The connection between insanity and crime was apparent, and the society took a precautionary approach. Mentally ill persons who were not hospitalized were those not considered a danger to others. This changed as deinstitutionalization took effect."

From "Madness, Deinstitutionalization & Murder," by Clayton Cramer. 

D'Oh! - Sophie

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