Mental Health Declaration of Human Rights


All human rights organizations set forth codes by which they align their purposes and activities. The Mental Health Declaration of Human Rights articulates the guiding principles of CCHR and the standards against which human rights violations by psychiatry are relentlessly investigated and exposed.

A. The right to full informed consent, including:

1. The scientific/medical test confirming any alleged diagnoses of psychiatric disorder and the right to refute any psychiatric diagnoses of mental “illness” that cannot be medically confirmed.

2. Full disclosure of all documented risks of any proposed drug or “treatment.”

3. The right to be informed of all available medical treatments which do not include the administration of a psychiatric drug or treatment.

4. The right to refuse any treatment the patient considers harmful.

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Citizens Commission on Human Rights

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is a nonprofit mental health watchdog, responsible for helping to enact more than 150 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive practices. CCHR has long fought to restore basic inalienable human rights to the field of mental health, including, but not limited to, full informed consent regarding the medical legitimacy of psychiatric diagnosis, the risks of psychiatric treatments, the right to all available medical alternatives and the right to refuse any treatment considered harmful.

CCHR was co-founded in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus Dr. Thomas Szasz at a time when patients were being warehoused in institutions and stripped of all constitutional, civil and human rights.

CCHR functions solely as a mental health watchdog, working alongside many medical professionals including doctors, scientists, nurses and those few psychiatrists who have taken a stance against the biological/drug model of “disease” that is continually promoted by the psychiatric/pharmaceutical industry as a way to sell drugs. It is a nonpolitical, nonreligious, nonprofit organization dedicated solely to eradicating mental health abuse and enacting patient and consumer protections. CCHR’s Board of Advisers, called Commissioners, include doctors, scientists, psychologists, lawyers, legislators, educators, business professionals, artists and civil and human rights representatives.

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Non-Pharma Alternatives to Antipsychotics for Dementia

by Bruce Boyers

A recent report by the British Psychological Association (BPS) has presented non-pharmaceutical alternatives for the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. The goal of the research is to reduce antipsychotic over-prescription to the elderly—a situation that has persisted despite mounting evidence that these drugs are extremely harmful to the patient.

The researchers wrote, “In practice, antipsychotic medication is often used as a first-line treatment for behavioral difficulties rather than as a secondary alternative, despite the evidence that antipsychotic drugs have a limited positive effect and can cause significant harm to people with dementia. Interventions offered should aim to lessen the distress and harm caused by these difficulties and increase the quality of life of those living with dementia and their care givers.”

Warnings from Many Sources

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Announcing The World’s First Anti-Psychiatry Scholarship

According to a recent article in NOW Toronto magazine, the world’s first anti-psychiatry scholarship has been officially established at The University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute of Education. The Bonnie Burstow Scholarship in Anti-psychiatry is aimed at students of education who believe psychiatric drugs and treatments are more harmful than helpful.scholarship

The scholarship is named for Bonnie Burstow, a trauma specialist and critic of psychiatry, who will matchdonations to the scholarship fund with up to $50,000 out of her own pocket. An associate professor in the Ontario Institute of Education’s Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, Burstow is of the belief that there is no proven biological basis for mental illness, and that psychiatric methods and the institutions that support them violate human rights.

Burstow is the author of Psychiatry and the Business of Madness, a fundamental critique of psychiatry that examines the foundations of psychiatry, refutes its basic tenets, and traces the workings of the industry through medical research and in-depth interviews. The book calls for a dismantling of the field the way it is currently practiced.

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Non-Conformists Now Labelled as Having a “Mental Disorder”

by Bruce Boyers

In news that will come as a shock to many of us who grew up in the 1960s and 70s—it turns out that, according to the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, we were all suffering from a mental disorder called “oppositional defiant disorder.” This “disorder” is shocking-news-todaydefined in the DSM as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior.”

The article reporting the news points out that, given the vague nature of this definition, nearly any pattern of behavior seen as strange by anyone else could be categorized as a symptom of ODD. ODD sufferers could easily include geniuses whose behavior or ways of thinking were viewed as eccentric, such as Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell. It could also include giants of our time who challenged social norms and brought about positive change, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.

The definition of ODD could even include children who challenge or oppose others of their own age—even though such behavior is extremely common in children and has never even been remotely proven to be a symptom of some kind of disorder.

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Psychiatrist Sued for Crossing Professional Boundaries…to Collect Rare Art

by Bruce Boyers

The Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights has for years been documenting cases of psychiatry crossing professional boundaries to obtain sex. But in a bizarre case now being heard in San Francisco Superior Court, the estate of recently-deceased psychiatrist Jerome D. Oremland is being sued for inducing a patient to hand over valuable works of art. According to the suit, during the time of therapy, Oremland convinced his patient John Pierce to give him at least a dozen rare works of art by masters such as Italian Renaissance artist Raphael and French modernist Henri Matisse.

JusticeThe suit was filed in 2015 shortly before Oremland’s death. In addition to allegations of obtaining works of art through the practitioner-patient relationship, the suit also claims that Oremland used his patient to conduct private investigations—sometimes on other patients—and even as a handyman to clean his swimming pool.

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