Now and then, you run into some parent who slaps you with what they think is a winning argument for Murphy’s Law: “my son/daughter with schizophrenia/bipolar disorder thinks Assisted Outpatient Treatment”. If patients are flocking to support this controversial forced treatment, how can people like me oppose Murphy’s Law?
When I look a little deeper, I discover something: many of these proponents are actually soft supporters. What they like about AOT is that it is just about the only way for them to get treatment. So what they really support is community outpatient clinics — the ones that have been denied us all along since the states emptied out the mental hospitals and delivered several of us to the streets.
Liking AOT does not mean that they necessarily like other parts of Murphy’s Law such as the partial dismantling of HIPAA benefits, the lack of protection for Advanced Directives, the hogtying of support groups, the lack of safeguards against abusive caretakers, dismantling of support for patient rights organizations, etc. Murphy’s Law casts a wide net driven by stigma. It fails to fund community mental health centers except as a weak pilot program in ten states. We need a better vehicle that really helps the mentally ill.