Sunday, May 21, 2006

MD and VA offer little defense ...

"What do I have to do, have him kill someone to get him treatment?"

That is the prophetic question a Reston (Virginia) mother asked mental health professionals shortly before her son beat her to death with a baseball bat in her home nearly eight years ago. History repeated itself this month when Pamela Jones was killed in her Fairfax City home by her mentally ill 24-year-old son …

In the years between these two tragedies, Virginia has kept the same outdated law that requires the mentally ill to be "imminently dangerous" before their objections to treatment can be overridden, even though they may be too sick to realize that they are ill. Incredibly, Virginia families are often told that nothing can be done to get their loved ones into treatment unless they become homicidal or suicidal.

Maryland law is similarly restrictive …Read more from the Washington Post

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