Monday, November 05, 2007

Pennsylvania's archaic law

Yesterday the Harrisburg Patriot-News published an op-ed by the Treatment Advocacy Center's E. Fuller Torrey and John Snook. The op-ed explores Pennsylvania's outdated law that prevents treatment of severe mental illnesses, and the "rights" that are protected instead. Among those are- the right to be killed in an encounter with law enforcement, the right to hurt someone you love, and the right to be homeless.

Historically, civil rights advocates passed laws protecting the absolute right to self-determination in treatment. But in their fervor to protect people's rights, they in fact trampled on them.

Pennsylvania's civil commitment law is archaic and inhumane, requiring someone to present a clear and present danger before they can be court ordered to treatment. Clearly, that is often too late.

The law ignores their right to be free from psychosis. Read on...

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