Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dying With Your Rights On

The following is an excerpt from a World magazine interview with Dr. E. Fuller Torrey.

WORLD:  What is “dying with one’s rights on”?

TORREY:  Dr. Darold Treffert, a psychiatrist in Wisconsin, originally used the term.  He kept track of the increasing number of deaths of individuals with serious mental illnesses who died from accidents, suicides, starvation, etc., because of the new laws making it difficult to treat them.  Dr. Treffert wanted to emphasize the fact that the new slaw were effective in protecting the person’s civil liberties and their right to refuse treatment, but in doing so the laws put the person in danger.  Dr. Treffert is one of only a few American psychiatrists who have spoken out forcefully regarding the abysmal job we are doing in providing appropriate care for individuals with severe mental illnesses.

Today, someone, somewhere with a mental illness died with their rights on.