Tuesday, May 27, 2014

André Picard of the Globe and Mail Nails It: Mental-Health Care, An Issue at the Heart of the California Tragedy

This is the only article I am going to post on the murders in America. 

It is an excellent, thoughtful piece and I urge you to read the whole thing.

"There are, sadly, many many cases like that of Mr. Rodgers – people with untreated mental illness in the grips of psychosis. More often than not they end in suicide or other self-harm; but we only hear of them when the violence affects others."

"Here is the bottom line: To help those who need help and refuse it (which is often a symptom of the illness itself) we need to restrain their freedoms."

"Can we, in a democratic society, justify incarcerating or committing to hospital people who have committed no crime? Can we force people to take medication against their will for their own good and the greater good of society?"

"These are the uncomfortable questions we have to debate if these all too common incidents are going to end."

"It is too facile to say none of this would have happened if Mr. Rodger had been committed to a psychiatric facility or compelled to take medication."

"But what we can say is that it should be a lot easier for families to make that argument."

"We should value the right of people to be well as much as their right to autonomy."

"Being sick with a severe mental illness – especially one that makes one hateful, vengeful and violent – is not a right. It is a bloody travesty."