NAMI E-News Restraint Bills Introduced (fwd) 
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 NAMI E-News Restraint Bills Introduced (fwd)

bout time.

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 15:52:10 -0500

Subject: NAMI E-News    Restraint Bills Introduced

NAMI E-News          March 25, 1999          Vol. 99-106

For Immediate Release                   Contact: Bob Carolla
March 25, 1999 11:30 a.m.                        703-524-7600

NAMI Applauds
Senators Lieberman, Dodd and
Representatives DeGette, DeLauro and Stark
For Introducing Bills On Restraints & Seclusion
NAMI Releases Summary of New Abuse Reports:
Five Deaths Over Five Months

(Arlington, VA)--NAMI today applauded the introduction of three bills by
Senators Joseph Lieberman and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, and
Representatives Diana DeGette of Colorado, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Pete
Stark of California, to establish national standards to prevent abuse of
restraints and seclusion in psychiatric facilities.  "Each bill represents an
important step forward from the status quo and a serious, thoughtful response to
a national crisis," said NAMI Executive Director Laurie Flynn.  "This is an
urgent problem. It will not go away."

NAMI also released a summary of reports of abuses compiled since The Hartford
Courant published a major investigative series on the issue late last year.  The
NAMI document includes five deaths over the past months---four of them of youths
under age 18.  The most recent involved a nine year-old boy.

"Every report represents a cry of anguish," Flynn declared.  "People are dying,
including childrenThese are only the ones we know aboutDeaths and human trauma
will continue unless Congress acts."

NAMI endorsed the House bill as "the strongest and most protective approach
being proposed," while saying that bills introduced and co-sponsored by
Lieberman and Dodd "together provide a foundation for action in the Senate."

In a release distributed today, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) announced their support for the Freedom From Restraint Act of 1999 which is the Lieberman bill. Also, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), the federal agency authorized to enforce the provisions, released a letter of support for the Lieberman bill.

# # #

Copies of the NAMI Abuse Report Summary (10 pages) will be available tomorrow
morning on the NAMI homepage, and are available upon request by
calling Bob Carolla at 703-524-7600.


Statement of
Laurie Flynn, Executive Director
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)

Congressional News Conference
March 25, 1999

NAMI is pleased with the leadership that members of Congress are providing today
with the introduction of three bills to address the need for national standards
to prevent abuse of restraints and seclusion in psychiatric facilities. Each
bill represents an important step forward from the status quo and a serious,
thoughtful response to a national crisis.

Last year, The Hartford Courant published a special investigative series that
put a spotlight on the crisis, documenting 142 deaths around the country that
occurred over a decade during or shortly after restraints or seclusion were
imposed on individuals being treated for psychiatric conditions.  An estimate by
the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, commissioned by the Courant, further
indicated that between 50 and 150 such deaths occur every year.

NAMI is especially proud that the presidents of two Connecticut NAMI affiliates
played a critical role in helping to focus the series: Karen Hutchin of Granby
and Jeanne Landry-Harpin of Woodbridge.

Since the Courant published the series in October 1998, NAMI has pressed for
federal and state action to end such abuses. We also have received a steady
stream of reports of new abuses and new deaths, as well as ones experienced by
consumers in the past.

Every report received represents a cry of anguish.  People are dying, including
children.  Today, NAMI is releasing a summary of reports compiled since The
Hartford Courant series appeared.  Five deaths have occurred over the past five
months.  Four of them have been of youths under the age of 18. These are only
the ones we know about.  

On behalf of NAMIs more than 208,000 members nationwide, I call on Congress to
adopt national standards that restrict the use of seclusion and restraints to
emergency situations in which physical safety is at risk.  Mandatory reporting
of deaths and injuries to legal authorities must be required.

This is an urgent problem.  It will not go away.  Deaths and human trauma will
continue unless Congress acts.

DeGette-Stark-DeLauro Bill

NAMI strongly endorses the bill being introduced today by Representatives Diana
DeGette (D-CO), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Pete Stark (D-CA).

"The Patient Freedom From Restraint Act" represents the strongest and most
protective approach being proposed. The legislation:

recognizes that restraints never should be considered part of therapeutic
treatment, but rather used only in emergency responses, which can only be
justified if physical safety is at risk;

requires consistency in the regulation of restraints for all Medicare and
Medicaid facilities that provide treatment to persons with psychiatric

requires mandatory reporting of deaths and serious injuries to a legal
authority in each state;

enacts "best practice" standards; and

includes strong sanctions.

Lieberman Bill

Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) will introduce legislation co-sponsored by
Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) that also establishes a nationally consistent
standard for Medicare and Medicaid facilities, based on recognition that
restraints and seclusion are appropriate only in emergency situations that
involve physical safety.

This legislation also mandates reporting of deaths and serious injuries to
federal and state agencies, and if the facility is accredited, to the industrys
Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

NAMI regards Senator Liebermans leadership as making a significant, positive
contribution to the issue; however, we are disappointed by some provisions in
the bill.  Its approach allows a facility to determine for itself whether a
death or injury constitutes an "unexpected occurrence" that requires that it be
reported.  Only reports of deaths and injuries that are part of an undefined
"pattern of poor performance" will become public information.  Facility analyses
of deaths also will remain "confidential," denying consumers and families access
to important information.  We hope that these provisions will be modified after
further deliberations.

Dodd Bill

Senator Christopher Dodd is also introducing legislation today, co-sponsored by
Senator Lieberman, that would amend the "Protection & Advocacy for Mentally Ill
Individuals  Act" (PAMII) to require the reporting of restraints- and
seclusion-related deaths within seven days.

As a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions,
which has jurisdiction over PAMII, Senator Dodds leadership will be important
in the legislative process.  His focus on PAMII has the potential to broaden
dimensions of the congressional debate.

The Lieberman and Dodd bills will complement each other and together provide a
foundation for action in the Senate.

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Mon, 17 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 NAMI E-News Restraint Bills Introduced (fwd)
        What is NAMI doing to stop those other vicious restraints that disable and
maim? I am referring to chemical restraints, particularily I am referring to
neuroleptic medication. For all those who think neuroleptic medication has a
nice therapeutic effect, and the patients reject it mainly because they lack
insight into their condition, I suggest you take a small dose of Trilafon,
Mellaril, Haldol, etc and get back to me.

        What a sick, pathetic joke it is to listen to people from a group that
supports forced druggings, electroshocks, and incarcerations for the mentally
ill claim to represent the very same people they degrade and victimize.  

Tue, 18 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 [ 2 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. [Fwd: NAMI E-News Federal Policy Action Alert]

2. NAMI E-News Federal Policy Update (fwd)

3. NAMI E-News Supreme Court Ruling on IDEA (fwd)

4. CA Mental Health BILL to Provide Relief for Law Enforcement FWD (fwd)

5. NAMI E-News Patients' Bill of Rights Action Alert (fwd)

6. Federal Action Alert - Restraints (fwd)

7. Abuse of Restraints on 60 Minutes II (fwd)

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