Legal Victories


 

Lawyer Jim Gottstein

Lawyer Jim Gottstein - A Big Legal Win in Alaska for Psychiatric Patients

Congratulations to lawyer Jim Gottstein in Alaska who has a group called PsychRights.org  for this big win.   Jim was the lawyer in the case below.  Many people will benefit from this legal win!

The Alaska Supreme Court significantly advanced psychiatric patients’ constitutional due process rights when the state seeks to force them to take psychiatric drugs against their will.  Read the press release of this legal victory below:

NEWS RELEASE 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
May 22 2009 

CONTACT: 
Jim Gottstein 
907-274-7686 
jim.gottstein@psychrights.org 

In an important decision issued today, William S. Bigley v. Alaska Psychiatric Institute

http://psychrights.org/States/Alaska/CaseXX/S13116/090522BigleyvAPIsp-6374.pdf 

The Alaska Supreme Court significantly advanced psychiatric patients’ constitutional due process rights when the state seeks to force them to take psychiatric drugs against their will.           

“One of the things they held,” said Jim Gottstein, President and CEO of the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights) and the attorney who handled the case, “is that if the State is holding someone in a psychiatric facility, they must provide a feasible alternative to the forced drugging if the alternative satisfies the State’s asserted justification. The State’s only other option is to let the person go.” 

The Court also held that in order to allow the person a realistic opportunity to prepare a defense, when filing a forced drugging petition, the State must provide a written statement of the facts underlying the petition, including the reasons for the forced drugging, information about the patient’s symptoms and diagnosis; the medication to be used; the method of administration; the likely dosage; possible side effects, risks and expected benefits; and the risks and benefits of alternative treatments and nontreatment. “This is very important,” Mr. Gottstein said, “because up until now, they just checked a box that said the person was incompetent to decline and the facility wants to drug the person. Then the State comes in with a witness who testifies untruthfully and there is no way to have been prepared to rebut it.” 

Equally important, the Court ruled the person’s lawyer must be given access to the person’s medical and psychiatric records in advance of the hearing and adequate preparation time. “The problem is judges have been misled for years that these drugs increase safety and are beneficial to patients,” according to Mr. Gottstein, “The truth is they decrease safety, are ineffective for most, are physically very harmful, and prevent many people from recovering. The evidence on this is clear, but the way these cases have been rushed through without allowing adequate time for a defense, these facts have not normally been revealed to the judges.” 

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights is a public interest law firm devoted to the defense of people facing the horrors of forced psychiatric drugging and electroshock. PsychRights is further dedicated to exposing the truth about psychiatric interventions and the courts being misled into ordering people subjected to these brain and body damaging drugs against their will. Extensive information about these dangers, and about the tragic damage caused by electroshock, is available on the PsychRights web site: http://psychrights.org/

# # # 
— 

James B. (Jim) Gottstein, Esq. 
President/CEO 

Law Project for Psychiatric Rights 
406 G Street, Suite 206 
Anchorage, Alaska 99501 
USA 
Phone: (907) 274-7686) Fax: (907) 274-9493 
jim.gottstein@psychrights.org 
http://psychrights.org/ 

PsychRights® 
Law Project for 
Psychiatric Rights 

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights is a public interest law firm devoted to the defense of people facing the horrors of forced psychiatric drugging. We are further dedicated to exposing the truth about these drugs and the courts being misled into ordering people to be drugged and subjected to other brain and body damaging interventions against their will.

Extensive information about this is available at  the web site, http://psychrights.org/

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Jury Awards $635,000 in Shock Suit

In June 2005 in Columbia, South Carolina, a jury awarded $635,000 in a malpractice suit against a psychiatrist who referred a patient for electroshock treatment. The hospital had previously settled for a small amount and the doctor who administered the treatment was not found negligent. The plaintiff, Peggy Salters, is a former nurse who lost her memory for many years of her life, including her professional training and the raising of her children. Her cognitive abilities remain impaired for new learning as well. She was found permanently disabled by the shock treatment. Mrs. Salters viewed the jury award as a victory for all victims of electroshock. It is probably the first jury award in an electroshock malpractice case. The fact that the referring physician was found negligent may encourage greater caution on the part of physicians who refer their patients to “shock doctors” for treatment. Dr. Peter Breggin was the medical expert on behalf of Mrs. Salters. The attorney was Mark Hardee (phone 803 799 0905). 

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The Sunday Times
October 17, 2004

Brainwash victims win cash claims

 

Karin Goodwin
UNDREDS of mentally ill patients who were subjected to barbaric CIA-funded brainwashing experiments by a Scottish doctor could be entitled to compensation following a landmark court ruling.

Doctor Ewan Cameron, who became one of the world’s leading psychiatrists, developed techniques used by Nazi scientists to wipe out the existing personalities of people in his care.

Cameron, who graduated from Glasgow University, was recruited by the CIA during the cold war while working at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

He carried out mind-control experiments using drugs such as LSD on hundreds of patients, but only 77 of them were awarded compensation.

Now a landmark ruling by a Federal Court judge in Montreal will allow more than 250 former patients, whose claims were rejected, to seek compensation.

Gail Kastner, who underwent electroshock treatment at a Montreal psychiatric institute in 1953, and whose claim was rejected 10 years ago, successfully appealed the judgment.

Last week, Alan Stein, of Montreal law firm Stein and Stein, which represented Kastner, confirmed he was in the process of contacting former clients who could now renew their appeal.

“There are about 200 people still due compensation,” he said. “This judgment should send out strong signals to the Canadian government. Those who have previously missed out should have a strong case for appealing.”

Using techniques similar to those portrayed in the celebrated novel the Manchurian Candidate, it was believed that people could be brainwashed and reprogrammed to carry out specific acts.

Cameron developed a range of depatterning “treatments” while director of the Allan Memorial Institute at McGill University.

Patients were woken from drug-induced stupors two or three times a day for multiple electric shocks. In a specially designed “sleep room” made famous by Anne Collins’s book of the same name, Cameron placed a speaker under the patient’s pillow and relayed negative messages for 16 hours a day.

Kastner was a 19-year-old honours student suffering from mild depression when she first underwent “treatment” in 1953. On returning home she sucked her thumb, demanded to be fed from a bottle, talked in a baby voice and urinated on the floor.

She was ostracised by her affluent family, who were unable to cope with her changed state, and her marriage in 1955 quickly broke down due to her difficulties.

Cameron, who was born in Bridge of Allan in 1901, rose to become the first president of the World Psychiatric Association.

It took two decades and the persistence of Joseph Rauh, the distinguished American civil liberties lawyer, to uncover what happened and secure compensation for some of Cameron’s victims.

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