Voices

Here are some thoughts from people who have supported this young effort so far:

“It is amazing, if there is a commitment to non-coercion, how genuinely rare the need for coercion becomes.”

“I stand for one basic democratic principle, freedom of choice. The freedom to choose whether or not to take psychiatric drugs without force and/or coercion and to be fully educated about side effects before making a decision to take them. ‘Informed consent’ has truly been a joke in my experience. The psychiatrist just shoves a consent form in your face and tells you to sign it.”

“We believe that this is a rights issue and that that should not be obscured by stereotypes, misunderstandings, fears and taboos. We believe no one should be marginalized or considered less legally competent than anyone else.”

“Self-determination is the foremost concern, and we can develop supports for those who need and want those supports.”

“We must raise the consciousness of people. This is a difficult one, as I think it starts with compassion for the self. One must ask the question, ‘What if this were me, how would I feel and what would I want done?’”

“In criminal law, there is a presumption of innocence until guilt is proven in a court of law.  Mental health law is about prosecuting people for crimes it is predicted they will commit in the future.”

“My experience is that laws change when minds change. And minds change when people come to see something that they once accepted as fact or took for granted as no longer the case – as no longer fair or right.”

“Informed decision-making is the way medical care is supposed to work in this country; following this ethical mandate, medical interventions cannot be ethically forced on anyone.”

“Society cannot control a person’s eating habits, drinking habits, smoking habits, choices of whether or not to treat various medical conditions, all of which may be considered ‘dangers to themselves’ …  If there is an error to be made, I think it is important to err on the side of respecting a person’s human rights to make their own decisions rather than buying into a paternalistic model that is designed to ‘protect’ people.”

“Treatment should be voluntary, not mandated. It doesn’t work if you are forced.”

 

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