People Flee British Columbia to Avoid Involuntary Psychiatric Imprisonment

By Bruce Boyer

According to a recent story by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), a constant flow of people are fleeing the Canadian province of British Columbia to escape its mental health laws. The laws of the province state that a person can be held against their will for psychiatric care.

One woman, only identified in the article by her first name, Sarah, said that a year ago she sought treatment for what she thought was depression. She was told to sign a form without an explanation of what it was, and was then informed she couldn’t leave the hospital. After being held for a month, she was told she was being switched to an injected anti-psychotic medication, at which point she says she knew she had to leave. She managed to escape during a smoke break, and fled the province. Now living in Ontario and afraid to return home, Sarah has filed a lawsuit charging that the laws allowing psychiatric patients to be held against their will violate Canada’s bill of rights.

Currently a number of other such legal cases in British Columbia are pending, cases that directly forced-psychiatric-treatmentchallenge the constitutionality of these laws. One suit on behalf of two plaintiffs, treated with electroconvulsive therapy (shock treatment) and injection medications while they were involuntarily detained, asserts that what is referred to as “deemed consent”—consent of a patient assumed by the treating psychiatrist without the patient’s actual consent—and forced treatment violate specific sections of the Canadian Charter (Canada’s bill of rights). If, in British Columbia, a person is involuntarily detained for mental health reasons, they are presumed to have consented to the psychiatric treatment recommended by attending doctors. There is no legal requirement for their decision making ability to be assessed, and they cannot appoint a substitute decision maker such as a spouse or family member.

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Major Ethical Transgressions of Psychiatry

by Bruce Boyers

In a recently published article on the web site Mad in America, a retired psychologist Philip Hickey, PhD, primarily criticizes a recent article evaluating presidential candidate Donald Trump from the viewpoint of a psychiatric diagnosis.

The author makes the very good point that it would be quite impossible to accurately diagnose someone’s mental health based solely on media reports of their behavior. He then goes on to take up several critiques of this same evaluation.

But well beyond that, Dr. Hickey states that critiques of this character are minor, given the major transgressions that psychiatry has committed throughout the years. Given that these come from a psychologist, they are quite telling.

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The Brutal Truth About Electroconvulsive Therapy

by Bruce Boyers

A recent article by Dr. Gary Kohls, a former natural mental health physician, details the brutal facts and figures of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)—leading anyone to wonder why it was ever practiced at all, let alone why it is still being practiced today.electroshock

ECT is usually administered when every psychiatric drug avenue has been worn out. According to the author, “ECT is usually only recommended when every imaginable, potentially brain-damaging psychiatric drug cocktail of neurotoxic or psychotoxic psychiatric drug has been tried and failed (or actually made the patient worse).” He points out that psychiatrists can become rich if they have enough over-medicated patients at their wits’ end.

According to the article, ECT usually affects both short and long-term memory, often permanently destroying it. Any perceived temporary “improvement” comes about simply because the patient can no longer recall traumatizing events.

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