Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Supreme court to Review State Officials'Refusing to Provide Records When Someone Dies in State Mental Hospital Facilities: Remember Steven Sabock

Where's Bob Dylan when we need him. Remember Steven Sabock:

Steven Sabock

Steven Sabock, age 50 and not a happy man,
sat in his chair unfed for 22 hours at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro, North Carolina,
choked on his medicationand died.
A few feet awaythe staff watched TV and played cards.
It was not reported what programs they watched
or who won at cards,but maybe that was not important,
and neither was Mr. Sabock.

Tom Greening, PhD

see earlier Defarge:http://madame-defarge.blogspot.com/2008/08/steven-sabock-unimportant-man-who-died.html_

Associated Press story:



Supreme Court to review mental health advocacy suit

Posted: Jun 21, 2010 10:10 AM EDTUpdated: Jun 21, 2010 10:30 AM EDTWASHINGTON (AP) -

The Supreme Court says it will decide whether Virginia's advocate for the mentally ill can force state officials to provide records relating to deaths and injuries at state mental health facilities.

The justices agreed Monday to review a federal appeals court ruling dismissing the state advocate's lawsuit against Virginia's mental health commissioner and two other officials.Backing the appeal, the Obama administration said the ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond "threatens to undermine the enforcement of federal laws that Congress designed to protect especially vulnerable individuals from the abusive and neglectful practices that can result in injury and death."

The Virginia advocate's office, like those in the other 49 states, was created under two federal laws that give states federal money for monitoring the treatment of the mentally ill in state facilities.

The first law grew out of public reports in the 1970s of crowded, filthy conditions and abusive treatment of mentally retarded children at the Willowbrook State School in New York.

The issue for the court is whether the Eleventh Amendment prohibits a state agency from going to federal court to sue officials of the same state. The state itself could not be sued in the same circumstances...."
Here's Dylan writing about a man unjustly charged w/ murdering someone (while the evidence was undoubtedly shuffled under a bigger pile, where it would be hidden):

"All of Rubin's cards were marked in advance
The trial was a pig-circus, he never had a chance.
The judge made Rubin's witnesses drunkards from the slums
To the white folks who watched he was a revolutionary bum
And to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger.
No one doubted that he pulled the trigger.
And though they could not produce the gun,
The D.A. said he was the one who did the deed
And the all-white jury agreed."


Monday, June 07, 2010

"Waterboarding 2.0": TWO Reports Today Further Outlining Medical Professionals' Involvement in Waterboarding

Gee, imagine what might have happened if the physicians and the psychologists had not been concerned about the untoward effects of hyponatremia from waterboarding. Where's the IRB when you need them? (IRB's are Informational Review Boards associated w/ universities pertaining to research with 'Human Subjects'):

From the Minneapolis StarTribune: (Associated Press)

Report from physicians group says doctors helped interrogators refine harsh methods
By KIMBERLY DOZIER , Associated Press Last update: June 6, 2010 - 10:59 PM

"....According to the report, "Medical personnel were required to monitor all waterboarding practices and collect detailed medical information that was used to design, develop and deploy subsequent waterboarding procedures."

For example, the report said, doctors recommended adding salt to the water used for waterboarding, so the patient wouldn't experience hyponatremia, "a condition of low sodium levels in the blood caused by free water intoxication."
The report interpreted that doctor-recommended practice of using saline solution as "Waterboarding 2.0."

New York Times:


".....The fact that psychologists, doctors and other health professionals were involved in the interrogations conducted by the C.I.A. and the Defense Department has been previously reported. A confidential report about the issue by the International Committee of the Red Cross, based on interviews with several high-value detainees held by the C.I.A., was leaked to the news media last year. .....

The report is the first analysis of the C.I.A.’s interrogation program to argue that one of the unintended consequences of the Bush administration’s efforts to provide legal cover for officials involved in the program was to place medical professionals in legal and ethical jeopardy. There are both international and national limits on human research and experimentation, including those based on the post-World War II Nuremberg Code and the so-called American Common Rule, both of which ban human experimentation without informed consent.

Medical personnel were ostensibly responsible for ensuring that the legal threshold for “severe physical and mental pain” was not crossed by interrogators, but their presence and complicity in intentionally harmful interrogation practices were not only apparently intended to enable the routine practice of torture, but also to serve as a potential legal defense against criminal liability for torture, the report states.

Several academic experts noted, however, that there has been no investigation by the government of the medical professionals involved in the C.I.A. interrogations.

“There are countries that, over the years, have condemned medical complicity in torture in principle, but which haven’t really been willing to investigate medical professionals or hold them accountable,” said Dr. Steven H. Miles of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota and an expert on the role of medical professionals in torture. “That group of countries includes the United States.”

The report found that the C.I.A.’s practice of waterboarding of high-value detainees offered perhaps the most direct evidence that medical professionals were helping to refine interrogation techniques. The report cites agency guidelines for health professionals involved in interrogations requiring that they document each time a detainee was waterboarded, how long each waterboarding session lasted, how much water was applied, exactly how the water was applied and expelled, whether the detainees’ breathing passages were filled, and how each detainee looked between treatments...... "

Physicians for Human Rights:


"...“In their attempt to justify the war crime of torture, the CIA appears to have committed another alleged war crime – illegal experimentation on prisoners,” said Nathaniel A. Raymond, Director of PHR’s Campaign Against Torture and lead report author. “Justice Department lawyers appear to never have assessed the lawfulness of the alleged research on detainees in CIA custody, despite how essential it appears to have been to their legal cover for torture.”