Informed Consent


Pieces of Me –

I wish I could leave my skin
For just one day.
See if with me
The hurt would stay.
Change my name,
Forget my past.
See if with me
The pain would last.
Trade this life
For fortune and fame.
Stop crying these tears
And bleeding my pain.
Speak my voice
And have it heard.
Have ‘love’ mean
More than just a word.
Not stress over school,
Or worry about home.
Not feel so smothered,
Yet look so alone.
If not for you,
I’d find no reason to live.
I constantly take,
And hardly give.
The emotion is ‘pathetic’
That hovers in my air.
Tarnishes my blue eyes,
Taints my blonde hair.
Such an individual
Holds a reason to cry.
Locks the memories away,
Stores her yearning to die.
I remember those eyes
So full of lust.
Using my love
While gaining my trust.
I can still feel her hand
As our fingers entwine.
She stole that precious moment
I thought was just mine.
‘All’s fair in love and war’,
Or so the saying goes.
All my battle scars
Reflect the path that I chose…

Rebecca Paul

Recently, I have been reminded how fortunate…WE are.  My wife’s adult life (up to recently) had been filled with hospital stays.  Not medical stays but institutional admissions.   In what was commonly known as; mental asylums.

She has held strong through strange visits to strange hotels…sitting an dissecting the merits of lime Jell-O.

Scary moments where as her spouse…I never knew what I would be coming home to after a days work.

Times where I refused to believe her beliefs…in reality.

  • The self harm…
  • The fifty benadryl a day….
  • Emergency Room visits with charcoal milkshakes and unknown doctors.

After years of both forced incarceration and voluntary.  Megan has come out the other side.  Though I do understand paranoid schizophrenia to be a chronic illness and this upswing may just be a fleeting moment.

I also understand that when she had voluntarily sought solace in these institutions.  She, I, US, battled many a stranger/therapist on what meds were working.  And, which ones that offered serious and dire consequences.

I say WE are fortunate because many still suffer.  They suffer in silence.  They suffer from being over medicated.  More importantly, they suffer from not trusting their doctors.  This lack of trust often centers around the doctor not taking the time to acknowledge that many psych patients are fully capable of understanding the side effects of medications or their recourse.

And, for that, many of us can thank, Eleanor Rise –

Eleanor Riese was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was 25. At the time of the trial in 1989, she was 44, and had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for several years preceding her case. During her stay at St. Mary’s Hospital in San Fransisco, Riese’s lawyers argued she developed physical symptoms caused by antipsychotic medication she did not consent to.

Lawyers representing Riese argued; argued, “People most likely to be treated with the drugs in a short-term care situation were either those experiencing a crisis such as suicidal feelings, or chronic patients, many of whom are among the homeless population, who can make decisions about their treatment even though they may be delusional.”

A victory short lived…

Eleanor had been killed by the medication she had been forced to take.  

Professor Peter Kinderman

psychologist_logo

 

This informed consent triumph in California offered/offers hope to those who struggle mental health maladies…and, physical disability directly related to their medications.

Informed consent in relation to voluntary admission into hospital is state to state.  Often the patient will find his or herself fighting in court.  Leaving decisions up to judge and jury.

 

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