From CBS News:
“Papers published recently by the Dutch Euthanasia Commission reportedly revealed that a woman in her twenties was allowed to go ahead with assisted suicide based on psychiatrists’ decision that her mental health condition was “insufferable,” and it was therefore illegal to deny her life-ending drugs. Multiple reports cited the documents published by the Commission as stating the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) the woman suffered due to the abuse was “incurable,” enabling the approval under Dutch law of her request for euthanasia. The Telegraph reports that the young woman was not an isolated case, and in fact, the rate of approved assisted suicides in the Netherlands for patients suffering from mental disorders has increased dramatically since the procedure was first made legal. …”
I don’t know what the Dutch offer as far as psychiatric treatment. What I’ve read sounds good but we in the U.S. are not the only masters of the use of deceptive
language and statistics to hide our sins.
If the Dutch system is anything like the broken and corrupt for profit mental health system in the U.S. then this business of euthanizing psych patients is chilling news.
On June 9th of this year California will allow Medically Assisted Suicide.
Am I wrong to think that making euthanasia legal in a for profit medical system that systematically denies the mentally ill access to treatment is an invitation to abuse?
Shouldn’t we make universal access to health care a right before we make suicide a treatment option?
- If the idea of assisted suicide for psychiatric patients in a country that already treats the mentally ill like trash doesn’t make your blood run cold then you probably have plenty of money and assume that everyone else does too or you are deluded into thinking that mental illness can’t happen to you. But it can happen to you and if you get sick tomorrow it will be the system that will make you want to die.
I asked myself, what kind of rights must we have to make suicide an acceptable treatment outcome?Here’s what I’ve come up with:You have the right to be a patient. Calling us ‘consumers’ demeans the seriousness of our illnesses.You have the right to expect your care providers to learn about the illness
You have the right to have the illness you have.
You have the right to have the symptoms you have.
You have the right to individualized care based on your needs and not corrupt ‘evidence based‘ statistics.
You have a right to treatment providers who place your needs as a patient above profit.
You have a right to professional interventions when it is obvious that you are too ill to care for yourself despite your denial.
You have a right to long-term residential or in-patient care. The fact is that many psychiatric patients need structured environments to function. To say this another way, you have the right to need what you need to be as well as you can be.
You have the right to die, but only if there is absolutely no other way to mitigate your pain or to help you to learn to cope with it.
Your responsibility as a patient:
You must use the resources provided to you to maximize your health and your quality of life.
In my perfect world people who were sexually and emotionally abused as children get more for treatment than wishful thinking based on the classist assumption that EVERYONE is a child of the upper middle class and EVERYONE has access to all the resources they need to build a life worth living.
In my perfect World you have a 12th Right:
12: You have a right to more than CBT affirmations when you seek treatment for a serious trauma induced mental illness.
Please note: I’m not saying that affirmations don’t have their place. I’m saying that they are not the right treatment approach for everything.
Below are three examples of CBT affirmations with caveats by me:
A river of compassion washes away my anger and replaces it with love.
Caveat: Provided I get the treatment I need when I need it.
I have been given endless talents which I begin to utilize today.
Caveat: What can one say about a statement this irrelevant to someone with chronic paranoid schizophrenia who sleeps on the street because he is too ill to access services?
I am guided in my every step by a Spirit who leads me towards what I must know and do.
Caveat: I’d rather see a skilled psychotherapist.