Navigation Links
Virginia Legislators Fail to Act Responsibly in Wake of Virginia Tech

General Assembly offers nothing more than lip service reform

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following release was issued today by Jonathan Stanley, Esq., Assistant Director, Treatment Advocacy Center:

The deaths of 33 people at Virginia Tech should have been a wake-up call to legislators to provide real reform to the state's broken commitment laws. Instead, the General Assembly is considering little more than lip-service reform.

The Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health and Human Resources eliminated the only chance for true reform this session when it declined to refer Senate Bill 177 to the full Finance Committee.

SB 177 would have established a modified version of Kendra's Law: a court-ordered community treatment law that would allow outpatient intervention before someone is in extreme crisis.

Virginia's mental illness treatment laws are among the most restrictive in the nation. To get help via involuntary treatment, the state currently requires that someone incapacitated by the symptoms of an illness such as schizophrenia be an immediate physical danger to themselves or others. That's simply too little, and often too late.

The only proposals now still alive for reform in the General Assembly require that individuals be visibly dangerous before getting treatment. These slight modifications to the existing law would keep Virginia's treatment standard among the worst in the nation.

Worst in the nation is not good enough for those like Kathy Harkey and her son Joshua. She and her family tried for four years without success to get treatment for Joshua, but every door was closed because he refused treatment and wasn't dangerous as defined by Virginia's current law. "Virginia's current law prevented us from obtaining the care our son needed until he was at death's door."

"Senate bill 177 was the only bill that would allow access to medical care for people like my son who need help and are currently being forced to needlessly suffer because they are denied access to treatment. Not being able to help your child get treatment until he's deemed dangerous is cruel and unusual punishment for people who are already suffering greatly from the effects of mental illness."

Her struggle to help her son ended when Joshua killed himself. He was 24.

Legislators should be ashamed. Hundreds of families across Virginia are unable to get treatment for loved ones who are psychotic though not considered dangerous. These families cannot afford to wait another year -- or another day -- for treatment law reform. Yet the General Assembly has decided they must.

The Treatment Advocacy Center ( is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illnesses. We take no money from pharmaceutical companies.

SOURCE Treatment Advocacy Center
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. New Poll Shows Virginia Voters Overwhelmingly Favor Funding for Tobacco Prevention
2. 75 Percent of Virginia Voters Support Smoke-Free Workplaces
3. Virginia Must Prize Mental Illness Treatment Over Psychosis
4. Virginia Cares Uninsured Program (VCUP) Announces Early Successes in Helping Uninsured Virginians Access Quality Healthcare
5. Manor Care Files Motion with West Virginia Health Care Authority to Dissolve Stay and Issue an Immediate Ruling
6. Virginia School District Gets Proactive Against MRSA
7. Tree named in honor of Virginia Tech chemist David G.I. Kingston
8. General Motors, Virginia Tech scientists collaborate to advance neuroinformatics
9. Virginia Commonwealth University to Study Genomics-Based Diagnostic Test:
10. Virginia Attorney General Addresses Drunk Driving and Underage Drinking in New Radio Campaign
11. States Largest Medicaid Managed Care Plan Offering Training to Combat West Virginia Obesity Epidemic
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ... , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to ... app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry ... fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes ... important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to ... a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from ... common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding emergency ... its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. Ogunleye ... M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. Ogunleye ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Capricor ... ), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, ... that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne ... exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects ... third quarter of 2016, and to report top ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... PARK RIDGE, Ill. and INDIANAPOLIS ... caliber of students receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders ... hands. The 2016 scholarship winners, announced today online at ... refused to let type 1 diabetes stand in the ... Lilly Diabetes has supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 The vast majority ... outpatient dialysis facility.  Treatments are usually 3 times a ... per visit, including travel time, equipment preparation and wait ... but especially grueling for patients who are elderly and ... skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers for some duration of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: