When you add all the provisions of the 175 page Families in Mental Health Crisis Bill together, the answer is Zero. Murphy’s Law is a caretaker’s bill. I have nothing against compassionate caretakers, but some seem to want to control the lives of their loved ones down to the toothpaste they use to brush their teeth. Murphy’s Law reorganizes the federal mental health bureaucracy so that it is subject to Congressional politics; it erodes HIPAA protections (claiming that caretakers have no access in emergencies to patient records which is not true); it requires states to implement forced medication programs; and, it is the harbinger I have no doubt of privatized mental hospitals. It is anti-patient. And it stands in opposition to the Recovery Movement.
Proponents disingenuously claim that people like me want to keep the status quo which does nothing for the most severely afflicted, the jailed, and the homeless. One word: Bullshit. I am among those who call for real homes for the homeless where they can achieve the stability to maintain a standard of self care. I note that patients are often prescribed medications like Abilify and Latuda in the hospital — which work for them but which they can’t afford — even with health insurance — when they are discharged. I note that police are overworked and often respond in a way which ignores their training for dealing with the mentally ill when they are exhausted. I observe that Laura’s Law — which allows those who are brought in to devise a treatment program that suits their beliefs and conditions — has resulted in more patients choosing medication. Studies show that coercion does not work. Demolishing HIPAA will cause some patients to avoid treatment because of privacy concerns. Is this helping the homeless? Let’s put together a scorecard….
|Erode HIPAA||Only in
|Access to treatment||Yes||No||Yes|
|Get people out of Jail||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Uses Stigma to
|Friendly to the NRA
from abusive caretakers
from police violence
|Score (helps homeless)||17||-14 1/2|
Where do we arrive? At a question: How dare the supporters of Murphy’s Law call us uncaring when it comes to the homeless? How dare they say they want to help the homeless?