Grave Disability

New York Will Involuntarily Hospitalize More Mentally Ill People 

The week began with the City of New York announcing that more seriously mentally ill residents will be transported to area hospitals for psychiatric evaluations without their consent under a directive Mayor Eric Adams issued Tuesday.

“Emergency workers are already empowered to hold dangerously violent individuals. But the directive expands the interpretation of that policy to include more people whose inability to care for themselves places them in more subtle forms of danger.

The mayor and his aides did not precisely define those “basic needs” or say how city workers would determine whether they were being met. Deputy Mayor Anne Williams-Isom said the determinations would be made “case by case.”

Police officers, firefighters and Department of Health workers will be able to hold such individuals after the city workers undergo imminent training sessions — a plan that civil rights activists immediately took issue with.” Read more here

On the heels of this announcement, editorial boards in California asked whether California should follow suit. See: “Bold moves to help the homeless mentally ill”, here

“We let blind, mentally ill homeless man die in Vacaville”

The same day, James Mark Rippee, who was blind, severely mentally ill, homeless — and unhelped, despite all the years that his sisters spent trying to change that — died. 

“You could say, as doctors at Fairfield North Bay Medical Center did, that he died of multiple organ failure after an untreated urinary tract infection caused sepsis. Or you could say that the cause was really the 1987 motorcycle accident that took his sight and part of his frontal lobe more than half a lifetime ago, when he was 24. Over the next few years, his brain injury robbed him of his sanity and safety, too.

You could consider some corner of accountability for the entrepreneur who had lately been charging him $600 a month to let him sleep in his backyard, along with other homeless people, though no one knows who left Mark at a Vacaville ER unable to breathe at 2:30 on Saturday morning, long after he should have received medical care.

Or you could say that he died because we just didn’t care enough whether he kept on living.” Read more here

Senator Eggman to Begin Again Regarding Definition of Grave Disability 

The 2023-24 state legislative session will begin next Monday, 12/5. Senator Eggman may introduce her next attempt to rewrite California’s definition of grave disability. The latest attempt, which will be co-sponsored by CSAP, will most likely be based on the definition that is already in state law and used by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. You can view this definition here

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