• Quote of the Day
    "Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be,
    but to find out who we already are and become it."
    Steven Pressfield, posted by David Baxter

David Baxter

Mar 26, 2004
We're all paying for a "playground for anti-psychiatric activists"
By Treatment Advocacy Center

Dr. Sally Satel paints a vivid picture of how some federally funded mental health ?advocates? are harming the most severely mentally ill and their families.

Take the case of William Bruce:

An appalling case of federally funded patient "advocacy" run amok was exposed just this month. On May 3, Robert Bruce of Caratunk, Maine, testified before the state legislature about his 25-year-old son, William. The young man had been a patient at Riverview Psychiatric Center from February to April 2006, where he had been committed after assaulting his father. Mr. Bruce and his wife were afraid of their son and begged the hospital to medicate him with the antipsychotic that had previously quelled his paranoia and aggression.

But William wanted to leave the hospital. Advocates from the Disability Rights Center, Maine's federally funded P&A, pushed for his release despite dire warnings from psychiatrists ("I find myself extremely concerned about this young man's potential for violence," reads one of many explicit notes in the medical record).

Nonetheless, the advocates insisted that William was "competent" for discharge and openly coached him--as a lawyer would his client--on how to placate the doctors so they'd let him go. William prevailed, and Riverview discharged him on April 20. Exactly two months later he murdered his mother with a hatchet. In his wrenching testimony before Maine legislators, Robert Bruce emphasized "the role that the patient advocates played in this tragedy."​
Dr. Satel?s brilliant article makes the case that the P&A system - which Jean Isaac and Virginia Armat documented in their 1990 book Madness in the Streets as a "playground for anti-psychiatric activists" ? needs to be reformed!


Nov 19, 2004
That's horrible! That patient advocacy system really does need to be reformed.


Oct 31, 2004
I was recently trying to find that Satel article on google but could only find the abstract. Good article.

When you see these tragedies happen over and over again...you really start to wonder if you are living in the twilight zone.

At least in recent years the papers are writing about the sick person versus the psycho with the hatchet.

It's shocking. Families are left to deal with picking up the pieces of their lives with very little if any support from their other family members and society. In these kind of situations they are also helpless to prevent it. Medication is prevention in almost all of these cases.

If the ill family member is lucky enough to get sent for treatment in a forensic hospital versus prison, they then have to live with their own struggle with what they have done once they become well along with their loss of a loved family member.

My condolences go out to the Bruce family at this time of great loss for them.
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