ADVOCACY FOR THE RIGHTS OF THE MENTALLY DISABLED

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This course will consist of five sections. The first section will not require a written assignment. It is for informational purposes only. You will become familiar with general legal principles and the judiciary system. The second section will be comprised of information on civil retention and the general rights of the mentally disabled. Section three will examine the right to refuse medication and treatment in New York State psychiatric facilities and some basic psychotropic medication information. In the next section, we will explore Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law which deals with guardianship proceedings in New York State. The last section will provide information on the newly enacted Kendra's Law or forced outpatient treatment of the mentally disabled.
I will be sending you a packet of reading materials. If you do not receive these materials within a few weeks after the commencement of the semester, please call me at(518)479-7093 to request the packet. All assignments for this class are contained within this web site.
There are also two text books for this course. They are:
Out of the Shadows:Confronting America's Mental Illness Crisis by E. Fuller Torrey (1997)ISBN 0-471-24532-1 AND
Psychiatry and Law for Clinicians by Robert I. Simon
(2001)ISBN 1-58562-024-6
These books can be ordered from the ESC bookstore or on-line.
Please commence reading these books immediately upon receipt. There are no actual book reports required but, unless chapters are specifically assigned to a course section, information gained from the books should be interwoven into your papers where appropriate.
With regard to the submission of written assignments, my policy is to allow graduate students latitude in submitting their papers to me throughout the course, therefore, no specific dates for return of papers is set. However, I must receive the last paper on the last day of the semester. If you cannot complete your work by that date, please contact me early so that we can discuss the possibility of an incomplete and an extension of time to complete the assignments. My suggestion is that you divide the semester into four (4) sections and submit papers according to that approximate time table. I recommend that you submit at least one paper fairly quickly so that I may ascertain whether you are experiencing difficulty with the materials.Please let me know as soon as possible if you will be requesting a letter grade for the coursee.
Please place your last name and page number on each page of your written assignments. This assists me if I print out several students' papers from the computer at the same sitting.
Evaluation for the four (4) sections will be comprised of an analytical essay of minimum eight (8) pages, double spaced, which will be based on the materials presented to the student, the assigned texts and any individual research conducted by the student (optional).
Students should demonstrate an increasing ability to read and evaluate the legal and social policy materials presented, as such relate to the examination of the legal rights of the mentally disabled and the manner in which changing legal developments have provided a new avenue for social policy change in this area of advocacy.
Students will be evaluated on their ability to compare, integrate and contrast the various materials presented within each topical group.
At the semester?s end, students? papers should adequately reflect the norms of graduate-level writing, including language and syntax, organization and bibliographical references where required.
If you have any questions concerning the materials or course requirements, please do not hesitate to contact me. The best time would be after 8:00 p.m. during the week and any time on the weekend. My e-mail address is lfoley8998@earthlink.net. You may submit your papers by e-mail, if you choose. If you submit by the internet, I will not return the papers to you by snail mail but will submit my comments and feedback to you also via the internet. Contact me by telephone or by e-mail to receive my personal mailing address should you desire to send a hard copy of your papers.
I look forward to working with you. I hope you enjoy the course!

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SECTION ONE: GENERAL LEGAL INFORMATION
Federal Judiciary: http://www.uscourts.gov
State Court Information:http://www6.law.com/ny/guide/
DueProcess:http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_duep.html
Facts about Schizophrenia:
http://www.mentalhealth.com/book/p40-sc02.html
Facts about Mental Illness:
http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Inform_Yourself/About_Mental_Illness/About_Mental_Illness.htm
Facts about Mental Retardation:
http://www.thearc.org/faqs/mrqa.html
Buck v. Bell:
http://www.law.du.edu/russell/lh/alh/docs/buckvbell.html
http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_eugenics.html
The Role of the Judiciary in Modernizing Mental Health Law:
http://www.cqc.state.ny.us/counsels_corner/cc18.htm
Ex-mental patient movement - http://www.mhcan.org/Judi-c.html

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SECTION TWO - GENERAL LEGAL PRINCIPLES AND SOCIAL POLICY ISSUES IN THE CONFINEMENT AND TREATMENT OF THE MENTALLY DISABLED:
Civil commitment standards -
1. http://www.cqc.state.ny.us/counsels_corner/cc64.htm
http://www.cqc.state.ny.us/counsels_corner/cc14.htm
2. NYS Mental Hygiene Law (9.13 voluntary admissions through 9.45 right of peace officers to transfer mentally ill individuals to the hospital emergency room. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/nycodes/c62/a5.html#top
3. Simon book - chapters 3 & 7
Predicting dangerousness -
1. http://www.cqc.state.ny.us/counsels_corner/cc66.htm
http://www.cqc.state.ny.us/counsels_corner/cc41.htm
http://www.cqc.state.ny.us/counsels_corner/cc69.htm
2. Simon book - Chapters 8 & 9
Right to treatment -
1. Olmstead v. Ziring - http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&navby=case&vol=000&invol=98-536
2. YOUNGBERG V. ROMEO (UNBELIEVABLE CASE)
3. http://www.academyanalyticarts.org/cnmccweiss.html
4. Simon book - Chapter 4
Least Restrictive alternative -
1. Heller v. Doe - http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/92-351.ZS.html
2. Willowbrook Consent Decree -
http://oaksgroup.org/willow/past.htm
3. http://www.txoriherri.com/nymentill.htm
Jail and the mentally ill
1. http://cgi1.usatoday.com/news/healthscience/health/2001-06-27-mental-health-court.htm
2. http://www.cjcj.org/press/mentally_ill.html
ASSIGNMENT: Present an overview of the general rights and protections afforded to the mentally ill using the materials provided in this course. What do you identify as some main difficulties facing advocates for the mentally ill (both legal and non-legal advocates). Include in your discussions information on civil committment standards, right to treatment in the least restrictive setting, prediction of dangerounsess and incarceration of the mentally ill. Offer suggestions for social change in these areas.

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SECTION THREE - REFUSAL OF PSYCHOTROPIC MEDICATION (AND TREATMENT)
1. Simon book - Chapters 5 & 6
2. Case Rivers v. Katz - provided by instructor
3. Article - http://www.psychlaws.org/BriefingPapers/BP2.htm
4. Artcle - http://www.cqc.state.ny.us/counsels_corner/cc60.htm
http://www.cqc.state.ny.us/counsels_corner/cc27.htm
5. Article - http://www.ect.org/news/betray.html
6. Article on medication and children http://user.cybrzn.com/~kenyonck/add/rabiner/med_psych_child.htm
7. ECT article - http://www.wildestcolts.com/mentalhealth/shocktestimony.html
8. Article: Breeze article - Can paternalism be justified in mental health care? provided by instructor
9. Article: Ruscher article - medication non-compliance
10. Article: Lowry article - issues of non-compliance
ASSIGNMENT:
Present an overview of the current law regarding the concept of informed consent and the right of a person to refuse psychiatric treatment while being retained in a psychiatric center. Explain what you have learned about the positives and negatives of administering psychotropic medication. What are some of the risks inherent in being maintained on these medications? In New York State, a psychiatric hospital can apply for a court order to involuntarily medicate an involuntarily committed person who is refusing treatment. However, if that same person had voluntarily agreed to accept medication, the hospital would have administered that same medication with no further action required. Do you see any inconsistencies in this manner of thinking? Explain how the doctrines of parens patriae and police power apply to this area of the law. What do you think are the social, economic, political and humanistic reasons for the passage of the Rivers statute? What are some of the inherent conflicts in a psychiatrist compelling a patient to accept psychotropic medications? Please try to link the information obtained in this section of the course to underlying social policy concerns wherever possible. Feel free to conduct any additional research on this topic and use that information in your paper.
SECTION FOUR: NYS GUARDIANSHIP PROCEEDINGS ARTICLE 81 OF THE MENTAL HYGIENE LAW
1. STATUTE ARTICLE 81 - http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/nycodes/c62/a28.html
2. Article - Links One
3. Article - http://www.sangerman.com/ Please review their articles on guardianship
4. Article 81 cases - provided by instructor (Farbstein and Maher)
5. Article 81 articles - provided by instructor (VonStrange)
ASSIGNMENT:
Explain the humanistic and social concerns which gave rise to the passage of Article 81 of the New York State Mental Hygiene Law. Explain the general provisions of the law and the role of the court evaluator and of the attorney for the alleged incapacitated person (AIP). Do you believe that this law is an improvement over the former conservatorship and committee laws of New York State? What are some of the basis rights of the mentally ill (as studied in section two of this course) which you see reflected in the drafting of this statute? Do you think that this law effectively protects the needs of handicapped persons who might fall under its coverage? Can you make any recommendations for improvement? Could this law potentially be used for the purposes of inappropriate social control of persons who are not "fitting in" with society? What might be some social policy concerns which remain today in executing this law? Please explain.
SECTION FIVE - NYS KENDRA'S LAW OR FORCED OUTPATIENT TREATMENT
1. STATUTE - ARTICLE 9.60 MENTAL HYGIENE LAW - http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/nycodes/c62/a5.html#top
2. Article - Link two
3. NYS Office of Mental Health Site - Link three
4. NY Civil Liberties Union's View -http://www.nyclu.org/kendrastmnt.html
5. Campbell article - provided by instructor -
6. Kendra law cases - provided by instructor (Weinstock, Sullivan and Urcoyo)
ASSIGNMENT:
You have read of many criticisms regarding the current status of Kendra's law. Do you believe this law is necessary and in the best interest of the "revolving door" chronically mentally ill person who does not comply with treatment recommendations while residing in the community? What are the pros and cons of the enforcement of this law? What might you think are the social policy concerns underlying this law's passage? Using information provided in this section, evaluate the individual's right to freedom and choice as compared to society's right to safety and order relative to enforcement of Kendra's law. If this law was shown to be effective in ameliorating the recidivism rate of some mentally ill persons, would that influence your evaluation of the necessity of and benefits to this law? Please explain.
Please attempt to link the information presented in this section of the course to underlying social policy influences and issues. What do you think are the larger social, political economic factors involved with the passage of and implementation of this law? Please explain.

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Guardianship

Kendra's Law

Kendra's Law

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lfoley8998@earthlink.net

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