Navigation Links
Virginia Tech Review Panel Calls For Reform of Mental Health Treatment Law
Date:8/31/2007

Gov. Kaine's independent panel urges less restrictive commitment standard

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- What happened to keep Seung Hui Cho from getting needed treatment and at what point could the Virginia Tech massacre have been prevented? The state-appointed panel charged with answering those questions released its report today, stating in part that "The Virginia standard for involuntary commitment is one of the most restrictive in the nation and is not uniformly applied."

The report details the many lost opportunities to help Cho and makes recommendations to improve Virginia's restrictive mental health treatment law.

The panel recommended that the involuntary treatment criteria be improved to "allow involuntary treatment in a broader range of cases involving severe mental illness." The current standard for involuntary commitment in Virginia for someone with a severe mental illness requires a person to be an "imminent danger to self or others" before he or she can be court-ordered to treatment. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to treat someone before they have harmed his or her self or someone else, or threatened to do so. About half of states have more humane standards that focus on the person's deteriorating condition and "need for treatment," rather than requiring them to deteriorate to "dangerousness."

The panel recommended that "reports of prior psychiatric history" be presented at the commitment hearing. Current Virginia law instructs magistrates to rely solely on what is happening currently with a person with untreated severe mental illness, ignoring what happened in the past. That means past episodes of violence, psychiatric history, and past treatment are not considered. As is clear from the extensive report on Cho, past history is not only relevant, but oftentimes critical.

"Gov. Kaine and the independent panel should be commended for not only identifying many of the flaws in the system that prevented Cho from getting treatment," said John Snook, "but for recognizing the critical importance of a strong assisted outpatient treatment program that will allow humane intervention before tragedy strikes." Snook is the legislative and policy counsel for the Treatment Advocacy Center, a national nonprofit dedicated to removing barriers to timely and effective treatment of severe mental illnesses.

"It now falls on the legislature to act to improve state law," said Snook. "Families across Virginia are struggling to help their loved ones. There is no question people who are clearly psychotic should get treatment. But Virginia needs to do better than that, as the Governor's panel recommends, and help people before they become a danger."

The Treatment Advocacy Center (http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illnesses. TAC promotes laws, policies, and practices for the delivery of psychiatric care and supports the development of innovative treatments for and research into the causes of severe and persistent psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

We take no money from pharmaceutical companies. The American Psychiatric Association awarded TAC its 2006 presidential commendation for "sustained extraordinary advocacy on behalf of the most vulnerable mentally ill patients."


'/>"/>
SOURCE Treatment Advocacy Center
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Once a Lawn Mower, a Self-made Billionaire Makes a Lasting Gift to Virginia Tech
2. West Virginia Organizes a Program to Fight Obesity
3. Indians Add to Rich Diversity of Virginia Tech
4. Virginia Tech. Shooter -Human Rights or Innocent Lives
5. Virginia Tech Shooters Mental Health Records No More Secret
6. Fire Ants are Emerging Nuisance for Virginians
7. Australian Devises Online Game Based on Virginia Tech Shootout
8. Pain Doctor in Virginia Sentenced to Five Years Imprisonment
9. Five Killed by Methane Gas on Virginia Farm
10. FDA may speed review of new drugs
11. Scientists review SARS
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... September 22, 2017 , ... ... Pennsylvania, is pleased to offer in-home and online newborn sleep consultations . ... has on the body,” says company owner Courtney Zentz, a pediatric sleep professional, ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star ... promote pancreatic health and regulate blood sugar levels . , Preventing diabetes ... negative side effects, and with the changes in today’s healthcare industry, not everyone ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ... ... “Letters From Home”: a moving compilation of letters that remind readers of ... Home” is the creation of published author, John Allred, a passionate leader of ministry ... International, who has traveled and ministered on four continents. , “It is my hope ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... September 21, 2017 , ... 38-Year-Old Plastic ... Surgery Center in Naples, Florida is pleased to announce that Plastic Surgeon Kiranjeet Gill ... 40 Under 40 is an annual award that was started in 2003 ...
(Date:9/21/2017)... ... September 21, 2017 , ... ... of a new member survey conducted by the International Society of Hair ... from 2014 to 2016 rose 60 percent, with 635,189 procedures performed in 2016. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/5/2017)... 5, 2017 Sapheneia and Scannerside received FDA ... DoseCheck is a third-party Vendor neutral CT product that ... allows compliance with current MITA standards. ... DoseCheck solution is specifically designed to provide CT operators, ... radiation doses over a predefined threshold. Scannerside Dose Check ...
(Date:9/1/2017)... PALMER, Mass. , Sept. 1, 2017 ... Complete HealthCare Solutions, Inc , highlights opportunities for growth ... Street Journal report that Marlin Equity is seeking a ... is an annual award-winning 22-year-old healthcare solutions Value Added ... market.  "As the ...
(Date:8/29/2017)... , Aug. 29, 2017 In a ... security, and regulatory compliance for veterinary practices of all ... a new partnership that makes TITAN,s expertise in physical ... available to Cubex,s clients nationally. ... buying and handling controlled substances is at risk today," ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: