I’ve all but given up on any hope of gun-law reform. My wife Honoree was shot and killed three weeks ago by a stranger almost surely in psychosis.
Here is an open letter to a divisive Republican Florida Congressman who yet might be of use.
The July 16 edition of Salon reprinted an Alternet article that quoted some of the vilest, most callous and repugnant remarks I have ever read—and that’s saying something. The remarks were glazed in an oily hypocrisy as transparent as it was fraudulent.
The remarks were yours, Mr. Gaetz. (I can’t bring myself to call you “Congressman” Gaetz, because “Congressman” is an honorific, and I have never discovered anything in your character that suggests honor. I think I’ll call you “Matt.”) You voiced them during a podcast on June 8. They were aimed at the bereaved Congressman Jamie Raskin, whose son Thomas, on New Year’s Eve 2020, committed suicide.
The podcast was hosted by your spirit animal, Marjorie Taylor Greene. Marjorie sat mooing with approval at your side as you spoke, occasionally belching out a supportive comment of her own.
Do you recall those remarks, Matt? I do. The thrust of them was that Jamie Raskin was no longer able to discharge his congressional duties. Because his son had committed suicide.
There are levels of inhumanity, Matt. There are levels of character destruction, of barbarism and bullying, of abusive self-degrading malice. You know these levels, Matt, because they are where you and your fellow congressional cretins live like feral cliff-dwellers. Your horde has pumped these rancid values into the public discourse over the last decade; you’ve done your best to normatize them. To an appalling extent you’ve succeeded.
And now you have broken new mud. You’ve hacked out a new bottom level. No slur, no lie, no amount of hateful falsity in your public past can match your soulless verbal mugging of Congressman Raskin, a man of rare high character and rarer courage who just now is performing the definitive public service of his life: holding to account the moral miscreants like you who thought, on January 6, 2021, that it would be a good idea to follow Donald Trump’s goading and vandalize the United States Capitol building in Washington.
Now you want Jamie Raskin out of Congress—you know, for his own good. Coincidence? Maybe.
You put on your Sigmund Freud pants, Matt, to explain to us laypeople why Jamie Raskin must retreat from the public scene:
“I think that he takes that trauma and he associates it now with his work in the Congress to such an interwoven way that he’s unable to do the congressional experience outside of just the dungeon of that personal trauma . . . I think it makes him look at everything in these very like, dark and severe ways.”
Is that what you like think, Matt? Your . . . analytical gifts are stunning. You kept your own hide safely distant from the violence that day, yet you somehow divined without evidence that it was a bunch of far-left (“anti-fa”) zealots who triggered all the trouble. Still, you were quoted as saying, “We’re proud of the work we did on January 6th to make legitimate arguments about election integrity.” Doesn’t this make you—oh, a proud far-left anti-fa zealot?
Here, though, is the nub of it, Matt: Congressman Raskin will surmount your venomous hypocrisy. Your real victims are the millions of Americans whose lives have been scarred by a child’s mental illness and/or suicide. Often these people are shunned into the bargain by a society that assumes they are crazy themselves, or somehow to blame. I speak from experience. Now they—we—Congressman Raskin—suffer a fresh round of gratuitous stigma, via your clueless and falsehearted claim that such bereavement robs survivors of the ability to function.
Statistics on mental illness vary, as do definitions of mental illness. The National Association on Mental Illness reports that more than 14 million people suffered serious mental illness (incurable brain diseases such as schizophrenia) in 2021. Lesser forms of mental illness affected a fifth of the population. Suicide rates are easier to pin down. Some 46 thousand Americans killed themselves in 2021. About half of these were mentally ill. The Raskin family courageously announced that Tommy, a Harvard Law School student, had suffered from serious depression for years. Depression is a leading symptom of chronic bipolar disorder.
The Raskin family made their announcement to combat stigma.
What was your own point, Matt?
History and common sense make you look like a fool, Matt, perish the thought. “And death shall have no dominion,” wrote Dylan Thomas, and for most bereaved people, this is at least partly true. They forge on. Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln lost their beloved 11-year-old son Todd to typhoid fever in February 1862, in the midst of the Civil War. Less than a year later, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Meningitis took the life of Susy Clemens, Mark Twain’s cherished daughter, while Sam and Olivia were away in Europe. “It is one of the mysteries of our nature that a man, all unprepared, can receive a thunder-stroke like that and live” Sam wrote. Yet he did live, and wrote some of his more important works before his own death in 1910.
The list goes on to encompass the millions of unknown parents and siblings who bravely have forged on, electing to consecrate their lives and work to the memories of their lost loved ones.
Your intrusion into the Raskins’ grief was out of line, Matt Gaetz. Only those who have actually lost a child, to suicide or otherwise, are qualified to discuss the despair that descends, against their will, until “comes wisdom through the awful grace of God,” per Aeschylus.
The Alternet quotes you as saying, piously, “[Y]ou know, no one would ever want to lose a child, particularly to suicide,” and, “As human beings, our hearts go out to him.” How true and how touching. You could prove your sincerity and commitment to these remarks in many ways.
The American mental healthcare system is in shambles. This year, committees in both houses of Congress at last began to focus on solutions. The Senate Finance Committee has released a discussion draft regarding mental health care for young people in Medicaid. In May, President Biden released his draft for a comprehensive strategy. And less than a month ago, your body, the House of Representatives, passed the Mental Health and Well Being Act, and two other acts aimed at reclaiming those afflicted with madness and addiction.
These are essential yet tiny steps. Massive work remains to be done: reforming our medieval criminal-justice system as it relates to mentally ill prisoners; rewriting outdated and harmful policy mandates; training many more care workers; speeding up access to diagnosis and treatment; vastly increasing public education; perhaps even creating a cabinet-level office to unify these and all other operations. Oh yes: and reducing stigma.
Have you thought of taking a leadership role in some or all of these initiatives, Congressman Matthew Gates? Being a part of seminal reform in mental healthcare would give your legacy a priceless quantum boost. It might even get your thoughts diverted from political conspiracies—which, after all, as you might know, can be a sign of paranoia.
DeSantis speaking at a press conference in southwest Florida,
“I have (three) young kids. My wife and I are not going to do the mask with the kids. We never have, we won’t. I want to see my kids smiling. I want them having fun.”
I don’t know. I mean, I really don’t know. What are the outer limits of rightwing arrogance and delusion? What are the limits of human delusion? Are there any limits?
Does “depraved indifference to human life” have any meaning anymore? Does anything have any meaning anymore?
This . . . man, this father, this college-educated governor of a major state, this grinning buffoon who was elected to protect the well-being of 21.6 million souls–the population of Florida, third-largest in the nation—is instead toying with their health and their lives–AND THE HEALTH AND LIVES OF HIS OWN WIFE AND CHILDREN!—and for what?! Stab in the dark here: his personal political ambition.
Florida is averaging 17,000 new cases of Covid-19 per day as the deadly Delta variant surges. Seventeen. Thousand. A day.
And Ron DeSantis wants to see his kids smiling and having fun. So, no masks. And he’s not going to allow schools to mandate mask-wearing in Florida, either.
Ron DeSantis must have a major smile jones.
Over the past wretched year, the past wretched five years, I have often snapped at friends who wailingly ask, “What have we come to?” “How did we get to this point?”
They ask it in bewilderment over Covid denialism. And the Trump administration. And the post-Trump-administration depravities such as the January 6 Capitol storming. And the subsequent mockery directed at brutalized, traumatized police heroes as “actors” in “political theater.”
And in bewilderment over the armchair rightwingers such as the radio blowhard Charlie Kirk who denounce the tormented Simone Biles as a “selfish sociopath[!]” for withdrawing from the Olympics. (On Tuesday she decided to compete in the balance beam final and won a Bronze medal.) And the others who sneer at “the liberals” who supposedly “shed a tear” over her mental-health crisis.
I tell these worried friends: Don’t just ask, in tones that imply the question is unanswerable. There are answers! Find them! Read! Research! Go online! Google “collective psychosis”! Google “tribalism”!
And feeling ever-so-slightly superior in my own stern rationalism.
Until I could no longer pretend to hear the small voice inside me that kept repeating, more loudly each time: “ . . . Maybe.” With the loudly unspoken corollary: “ . . . And maybe not.”
I’ve spent the past several weeks—well, months—trying to follow my own advice. I’ve pored through books, scholarly articles, and serious journalism to help myself figure out why the political fissures and tensions, always present in American life, have burst into this continental oil-refinery fire. And why those who stand to suffer the most from its many scorching flames are responding by throwing more petroleum onto it. ( Vide: Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida throwing up barriers to commonsense Covid protection so that he can see his children smile and have fun.)
Have you ever heard of a more deranged and irresponsible reaction to an existential threat?
As the father of two loved and loving sons who both contracted schizophrenia, one of them taking his life, I am naturally attuned to the fragility of the human mind. (And infuriated at the fatuous Governor for taking his children’s health for granted.) I’m no psychiatric scholar, no authority of any kind. Yet I have learned enough to understand that none of us is truly “normal.” There really is no “normal.” We all advance through life across a thin membrane, a membrane that could rip and thus plunge any of us into a chronic, incurable brain disease such as schizophrenia. Or, far more commonly, into treatable yet debilitating conditions such as depression, rage, alcoholism, refuge in alienated “tribes,” susceptibility to the lure of seductively tyrannical cults.
I’ve winnowed my explorations to the latter two: the tribe and the cult.
An affinity for either of these collective bodies strongly suggests that even though the adherent may not be seriously mentally ill, she may well be wounded enough by life’s cruelties (including abuse, poverty, addiction, a bad education) that her self-identity is ravaged and she has surrendered the capacity to think and act in her own best interests. She accepts the group’s ethos as her own.
To vastly oversimplify: the tribe is generally a physical community of people nurtured by handed-down beliefs. It has the power to absorb an individual’s identity into its shared values, myths, prejudices, and class/political assumptions. The cult generally does not spring from an organic community. It magnetizes rather than nurtures. Its magnetism has been radically enhanced by the electronic grid. The psychic power of the cult over vulnerable individuals is if anything far greater and more insidious than that of the tribe.
I accept the reality of tribal behavior—like most of us, I have witnessed it and lived it to some degree—yet I’ve found myself leaning to the cult as the powerful source of our present chaos.
Cults attract people who did not necessarily come of age under a cultish spell. Cults attract desperate loners; those whose self-identities have been desiccated; people who virtually doubt their own existence and crave identification with a group that promises them a means of belonging.
I think of QAnon. I think of Chris Hedges’s masterful and ironically titled 2014 book, “War Is a Force that gives us meaning.” I think of the odious threadbare trope, “Drink the Kool-Aid.”
Cults, I came to believe in my hard-earned layman’s understanding, are a form of collective psychosis. Yes, that was it! Shared psychosis.
And then I contacted Dr. Joseph Pierre for confirmation.
Dr. Pierre is professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is copiously published and widely interviewed in the areas of forensic psychiatry, neuroscience, delusion-like belief, cannabis-induced psychosis, and in many topics related to schizophrenia.
Dr. Pierre has studied shared psychosis, yet he does not think it is responsible for our current havoc. In a recent email, he wrote,
“I am firm in saying that movements like QAnon, however crazy they might sound, are not examples of shared or collective psychosis proper.”
He clarified his view in a June edition of the online journal “Medium.” Without intending to speak for him, I infer a proposition even more troubling than psychosis: the rapid erosion of shared reality. The twilight of “the truth.”
Referring to the rash of harebrained theories that accompanied Covid’s rise, Dr. Pierre writes,
“Conspiracy theories reject authoritative accounts of reality in favor of some plot involving a group of people with malevolent intentions that are deliberately kept secret from the public. The psychological underpinnings of belief in conspiracy theories include a long list of associated cognitive quirks including lack of analytic thinking and heightened ‘bullshit receptivity;’ need for control, certainty, and closure; and various attributional biases such as the tendency to ascribe random events to ultimate ‘teleologic’ causes.”
There it is–an explanation of our current carnival of chaos as terrifying as it is simple. And as tragic. Dr. Pierre titled his essay, “Winning the Battle Against Covid-19 Requires More Belief in Reality.”
And good luck with that. William Butler Yeats wrote the death warrant for such optimism eighty years ago in a line from “Four Quartets”: “Go, go, go, said the bird. Humankind cannot bear very much reality.”
Not that humankind ever could. In America alone, we have lived with the denial that slavery caused the Civil War since the ink dried on Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. Thus seven hundred fifty thousand people died over “states’ rights.” (Uh, states’ rights to do what?) The curse of racism stoutly denied is viler than ever today, embedding itself blatantly in our school systems and poisoning free and fair elections.
In April 1966, the cover of Time Magazine thunderously asked, “Is God Dead?”—having answered the question the previous October, in the affirmative. What millions of believers took as the ultimate Truth was pulverized before their eyes.
The academic “deconstruction” crusades of the 1980s gave even intellectuals the vocabulary for denying that truth, and meaningfulness in words, existed. (Besides handing a victory to the anti-intellectual right, the “tenured radicals” found themselves obliged to use words in refuting the meaning of words. An irony lies buried in there somewhere.)
And at about the same time, members of the Reagan administration, including Ronnie himself, were launching their historically effective renunciation of science.
Don’t even get me started on what this meant for poor Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Or for all of us. For the “planet” we “live on.”
Dr. Pierre again:
“Conspiracy theories often arise during times of societal upheaval and can serve a blaming or scapegoating role intended to ‘self-medicate’ fears arising from chaos and uncertainty. Belief in conspiracy theories can also be understood within an overarching ‘socio-epistemic’ framework whereby mistrust in authoritative sources of information leaves us vulnerable to biased misinformation processing when searching for alternative explanations.”
So perhaps Dr. Pierre, and others, have it right: why should we reach for elusive concepts such as “shared psychosis” when the steady, centuries-long assaults on truth and meaning have softened up our frantic civilization for belief, or disbelief, in anything?
Run along and play, DeSantis children, in the open, sunlit, infected Florida air. Have fun. And don’t forget to not wear your masks!
. . . After being shamed . . .
. . . Yet the Texas deputy attorney general’s ignorance about mental illness and his slurring of Simone Biles tells us all we need to know about how much America still needs to learn, and care, about “crazy people.” Especially including powerful people in our criminal-justice system. Which is one hell of a lot of learning and caring. Meantime, more shame on you, college-educated and privileged and complacent Aaron Reitz.
Not really. It has quietly infiltrated and normalized aberrant public behavior in our deranged national landscape.
It is now front and center in the streets.
And in the ravings of pre-eminent news personalities.
In the 1960s the breakaway Scottish mystic/psychiatrist R. D. Laing was prominent among many emerging voices proclaiming that mental illness does not exist. His aphorisms such as “Insanity [is] a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world” and “Madness need not be all breakdown. It may also be break-through . . . ” made him a charismatic figure among the counter-culture. His work placed him in the company of the greatest denier of them all, Thomas Szasz, whose 1961 book, The Myth of Mental Illness, crippled the status of psychiatry for generations.
In that time, neuroscientists and psychiatrists worked patiently to rebuild the legitimate acceptance of mental illness and its destructive properties. Breakthrough advances in microcomputer technology established, for instance, that schizophrenia is a genuine disease of the human brain, and not just a synonym for “nut job”: it leaves lesions–tiny traces–in the brain; its clusters of flawed genes are genetically inherited and, to date, incurable.
Yet even as science (that fake mumbo-jumbo!) has steadily clarified the properties of mental illness at the top levels of discourse on the subject, its work is being rapidly undermined again where it counts: in the chaotic maw of popular culture, where malign ideology, semi-literacy, and poisonous cynicism threaten to nullify reason. Including reasoning about unreason.
Thus when the ineffable birdbrain Ann Coulter tweet-tweets, as she did on August 27, that she wants the deranged teenaged lethal shooter Kyle Rittenhouse to be her president (above), we may think of her as the hideous drum majorette at the head of a long malign parade, marching directly toward a new Dark Age.
Pardon the sarcasm. I am steaming. We’re still in Bedlam. The mad, including afflicted children, are still getting gunned down by cops who are clueless, untrained, or worse. Linden Cameron of Salt Lake City, riddled with police bullets on Friday for the crime of running in fear and confusion, has survived, so far. Yet our severely brain-damaged mental healthcare system–including jails, prisons, and vicious trigger-happy cops–remains mired in its historic ignorance, incompetence and, yes, cruelty.
We look, we pray, to our political leaders to at least keep “crazy people” from the worst of it; from incidents like this. A little kid, dammit! Instead–irony of ironies–the current political campaign season, as deranged in its way as are our systems of care–has managed only to push this urgent issue further into the dark margins.
This despite the unflagging work of reform advocates such as Leslie and Scott Carpenter, who pled our community’s case to every Democratic presidential candidate who passed through Iowa this summer. And the sisters C.J. Hanson and Linda Rippee, who have battled across decades to secure help for their drastically damaged street-wandering brother Mark, only to be met with stony indifference from pols at the municipal, county and state levels in California. You may find their story scattered through several entries in this blog.
And many, many others.
To essentially no avail.
It just seems that no one cares about crazy people.
I sit here at my computer screen and I think: 13-year-old. Unarmed. In a mental crisis. His mother calls the police. And a wolfpack of cops shows up and empties several rounds of bullets into his small young body. Intestines. Bladder. Shoulder. Ankles.
Bob Dylan’s lyric in “Oxford Town,” released fifty-eight years ago, remains the definitive commentary on the subject:
“Somebody better ‘vestigate soon.”
I wrote my fingers to the bone on the U.S. criminal justice abyss in my book and after it was published. Nothing changed, and it sickened and sickens me. Congratulations on this book, Christine Montross. Thank you for bringing it to my attention, Gail Freedman.
Where the Sick Get Sicker and the Sane Are Driven Mad: Behind Bars
WAITING FOR AN ECHO
The Madness of American Incarceration
By Christine Montross
When Christine Montross approached the end of her residency program in psychiatry, she met with a mentor for help evaluating two attractive job opportunities. Ignoring both options, her adviser raised the possibility of a third: “What about the prisons?” Montross balked at this unsolicited, unwanted suggestion. She deemed it an imprudent, even absurd use of her training, given the nation’s dearth of psychiatrists and broad demand for mental-health services. “Why would I want to work in the prisons?” Montross wondered. “Why devote my time and attention to people who had committed crimes when there were so many innocent people who needed care?”
I’ve never felt more engulfed in waves of simultaneous despair and hope than I felt as I read “‘I Couldn’t Do Anything’: The Virus and an E.R. Doctor’s Suicide” in the New York Times last Saturday. Dr. Lorna Breen, the emergency-department supervisor at New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital who took her life on April 26, embodied all the good, all the agape (selfless unconditional love), all the standards of learning, noble achievement, selflessness, and joy that Americans once congratulated themselves on (uniquely) possessing.
America is crumbling before our eyes. There seems to be no counterforce. As white nationalists brandish powerful weapons on the streets and in statehouses, and fire them into crowds and churches, the left . . . topples statues. Statues on both sides of our historic ideological divide.
Dr. Breen trumpeted no ideology, but she did something more than topple statues. Something noble and life-affirming. She was part of a nationwide, overwhelmed band of sisters and brothers—emergency workers—who do the brutal work of saving plague-afflicted lives. She paid for her agape with fatigue, despair, the vile illness that gripped her as it has gripped so many of her fellow front-line workers. Ultimately she paid with her life, at her own loving hands.
Americans who consider themselves “progressive”—well, all Americans—need to get beyond the narcissistic pleasures of virtue-signaling. As we tilt Quixote-like at our statues, we might do well to recall a couple of ideas from Abraham Lincoln—one of whose statues is on the good-liberal removal list. Lincoln’s ideas apply to Dr. Breen and her colleagues, and to our pathways of response to her sacrifice.
At Gettysburg in November 1863 Lincoln said: “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” He said: “It is for us the living . . . to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.” He said: “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.”
And now we are engaged in a new civil war. We are in a new test—several tests—to see whether our nation can long endure. Dr. Lorna Breen and her sisters and brothers have fought and too often died while struggling with their unfinished work against one collateral facet of this war: the national political indifference to the coronavirus plague.
We the living can advance that unfinished work by building on the legacy of Dr. Lorna Breen.
There are so many ways to pursue this work: ways that require commitment and courage and patience on a scale that most of us have never confronted.
We could begin by building a statue to her.
Senator Sanders, as I indicated in my previous blog, I have admired and supported your political career. And as I went on to say, I believe you are dead wrong, dangerously wrong, on three foundational elements of your mental healthcare platform.
These elements involve (1) your belief that treatment for people in psychosis must be voluntary; (2) your opposition to reforms that would alleviate the severe crisis in available beds for such victims; and (3) your refusal to support relief from the oppressive “HIPAA” restrictions on the release of information, to families, concerning their afflicted loved ones’ medical conditions and plans for continued treatment.
I have explained my reasons for objecting to your positions on these issues in my February 14 blog.
Now comes the corroborating voice of Susan Inman, an eloquent advocate, and the mother of a daughter suffering from schizophrenia. Inman is the author of the best-selling, highly regarded memoir, After Her Brain Broke.
Here is what Susan Inman–writing out of direct, harrowing experience–has to say about the destructiveness that is perpetuated by your continuing embrace of these outmoded and logically preposterous impediments to reclamation. Her essay first appeared on the website Mind You: Reflections on Mental Illness, Mental Health and Life. Please give some serious thought to the wishes of those of us who have formed our opinions from direct experience instead of sterile ideology.
Secrecy, official neglect, pain, petty violence and thievery have been the daily portion for Mark Rippee during his ghastly, 13-year ordeal of homelessness on the streets of Vacaville, California.
Thanks to the heroic determination of his sisters Catherine Henson and Linda Rippee, a groundswell of activism is at last forming in his defense. Please, no matter what state you live in, sign and return this petition below to help bring a measure of humanity to this terribly violated man!
My brother, James Mark Rippee, who is blind, brain-damaged from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), physically disabled, and has Schizophrenia and Anosognosia. (Lack of Insight to his own serious mental illness.) He has been homeless for 13 years living on the streets of Solano County in California.
I previously authored a petition two years ago in support of AB 1971 in California – legislation that was pulled by the authors after I garnered 82,000 signatures through my petition which was hosted by Care2, due to “poison pill” amendments forced into the Bill to change the definition of “Gravely Disabled” to include “lack of capacity and medical need” as a criteria for involuntary treatment and placement or LPS Conservatorship.
I had made my brother the face of that bill. After continuing our efforts to get him help, services, treatment or placement and failing with our County of Solano in California who have been negligent in their duty to start an LPS Conservatorship Investigation and process, and denial of participation with Laura’s Law, and even denial of Mental Health Services!
We continued to speak at Solano County Board of Supervisors’ meetings and inform all County officials, Health & Human Services, Social Services including Adult Protective Services that he was in danger – in particular to being struck by a vehicle or causing an accident because he literally has no eyes.
In September of 2019, he once again fell into traffic and was struck by a car. Because he has anosognosia and is not of sound mind, when EMTs were called to the scene – he denied needing help and was left on the sidewalk -injured, in pain and crying.
Eventually, he was found by our family two weeks later with life-threatening injuries sustained in that accident. He had emergency brain surgery and was in the hospital for 3 weeks. Although clearly delusional the psychiatrists there refused to declare him with diminished capacity which would have resulted in a 51/50 hold. Even though they would not place a hold on him for his own protection – they did continue to inject him throughout his stay with antipsychotic medications.
Upon their decision to release him and after much protest and contact from the community and mental health advocates from across the nation – accusing them of “patient-dumping” – they decided to transfer him to a Senior Board & Care home (he is not yet a senior) for 30 days under the guise of a “Safe-Discharge Plan.”
Because the Board & Care home was ill-equipped to deal with a person with serious mental illness and his delusional behavior even though Kaiser continued prescribing him antipsychotic medications — they opened the front door and let a blind, severely and gravely disabled man walk away from the facility in an unfamiliar city. Our family lost contact with him as he fled from his delusions to another city for a month.
Through many attempts to get the County to take appropriate action for him and our family – the County of Solano has continued to fail– at this point clearly negligently and with intent to discriminate.
On February 12, 2020, James Mark Rippee was again struck by a vehicle – this time so critically injured that it will take months for him to recover – if he does. He is in Critical Condition with a Fractured Skull & Brain Bleed, Facial Lacerations & Bruises covering his body, Lung Contusions, a severely Dislocated Shoulder, a Shattered Elbow, Removal of the Metal Rod running the entire length of his leg which had been holding his leg together for 34 years and was bent in the accident, a shattered Tibia, and more. It is expected that many more surgeries will be needed and months in the hospital.
At the time of this writing, the hospital is once again denying that he has diminished capacity and has taken no action to allow family members any rights to know about the details of his condition (HIPAA) and even though my brother is incoherent and sedated – they will not allow family members who love him and know what is best for him to make any medical decisions and are ignoring their duty to declare him with diminished capacity in the face of their previous records on him from 4 months ago.
While we hold the County of Solano and many officials, departments and agencies responsible for not preventing this second tragedy that we told them would happen – We also demand that the State of California and in particular – Governor, Gavin Newsom – whom we have previously attempted to contact – PAY ATTENTION TO THIS SITUATION and ACT accordingly!
Our family has contacted many, many politicians at the County, State, and Federal levels for several years! We have testified at the California State Capitol for several proposed legislation regarding Grave Disability, Conservatorship, and pleaded with all to help our family.
We DEMAND attention from Governor Gavin Newsom, who claims to hold in such regard the need to help the Seriously Mentally Ill and the Homeless! NOW!