Originally published September 7 2014
1,500 mental health patients have been drugged and sent to die alone by Nevada-run hospital since 2008, lawsuit claims
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) The mental healthcare systems in this nation are even worse than the hospital system. Staffs are underpaid, and institutions release mental patients to cut expenses. These people are sent out onto the streets with a handful of psychiatric drugs, adding to the homeless, among whom many are vets that the VA Hospital system can't or won't handle.
Many of the vets, even those who are not homeless, wind up committing suicide, up to 22 per day! Many of the non-veterans wind up with nowhere to go but the streets and become victims of brutal crimes or land in jails themselves, which is the worst place for mentally ill patients to be.
According to the sources below, state-run mental institutions started shutting down in the 1950s as part of changing social attitudes and a movement to de-institutionalize mental illness. And the Federal Government wanted to cut out funding state-run mental institutions. Medicaid announced that they would only finance care for the mentally ill in private mental institutions or nursing homes.
But state-run mental institutions have been where the majority of mentally ill and insane people were committed. Not anymore. They're being released out into the public domain, even if they have no job skills or nowhere to go or no one to help them. In other words, onto the streets or into jails.
This dangerous arrogance was supported partially by the introduction of more psychiatric drugs, which may lead to violence, that patients were expected to take without supervision. You wouldn't expect one of them to turn and begin a class action suit against an institution after being released, would you? But it has happened.
James Flavy Coy Brown vs. Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas, NevadaBrown was released from state-run Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital with several other patients who were placed on Greyhound buses to various locations with enough powerful antipsychotic drugs and a few bottles of Ensure, a nutritional drink, to sit out the ride. Brown's ride to Sacramento, California, was 15 hours.
As plaintiff for this burgeoning class action suit, Brown claims hospital officials knew that those released had no connections for future care or possibilities for employment. In other words, they were to become a burden to other municipalities, including law enforcement, or wind up becoming easy prey for those that like to sadistically beat up on homeless street people.
Brown had voluntarily committed himself to the Las Vegas institution, but he was involuntary discharged after only two days. He and the others were heavily dosed on strong psychotropics as they were discharged and placed on buses.
According to Courthouse News Service, Brown says he was "homeless, confused and anxious" upon arriving in Sacramento, but was taken by local police to a homeless service center, which could not provide housing, treatment or transportation.
Staff at the University of California at Davis Medical Center eventually got him into the Heritage Oaks psychiatric hospital, which placed him in a group home.
Brown's lawsuit, filed in late August of 2014, was a follow-up on a previous suit that he had filed in 2013, which Federal Judge James Mahan dismissed, ruling that mentally ill patients are capable of giving informed consent to being sent out of town, and Nevada graciously accommodated.
But this time, Brown and attorney Allen Lichtenstein have more compelling evidence for Brown's claims. An investigation by The Sacramento Bee determined that at least 1,500 patients from the Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas had been dumped since 2008 with "minimum provisions to sustain them during the protracted bus rides" to various destinations across the nation.
And the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported a state investigation that had resulted in two hospital employees being fired while several others faced lesser punishments for their roles in discharging patients in recent years.
Brown seeks class certification to determine the number and names of others discharged involuntarily as part of the class action suit, declaratory judgment, an injunction and punitive damages for professional negligence, gross negligence, negligence per se, negligent hiring, supervision and training, and breach of fiduciary duty.
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