Tuesday, January 31, 2023


How curious it is!  The question raised was Is forced treatment for the mentally ill ever humane? It came up because of plans in urban areas to deal with the homeless who are mentally ill, taking them off the streets and placing them into places of refuge and treatment -- even involuntarily.  At no surprise to anyone, the plans are from saltwater cities and states.  

Eric Adams, the Democratic mayor of New York City, instructed police and first responders to hospitalize people with severe mental illness who are incapable of looking after themselves. Mr Adams’s plan is a reinterpretation of existing rules. Law-enforcement and outreach workers can already remove people from public places if they present a danger to themselves or others. But now, the mayor stressed, people can be hospitalized if they seem merely unable to care for themselves. “It is not acceptable for us to see someone who clearly needs help and walk past them,” Mr Adams proclaimed.

At the urging of Gavin Newsom, California’s Democratic governor, the state legislature passed the Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (care) Act in September , creating a new civil-court system aimed at directing the mentally ill and homeless to treatment and housing. Patients can be referred to care court by police, outreach workers, doctors or family members, among others. Acceptance into the system means court-ordered treatment for up to two years, after which patients can “graduate” or, potentially, be subjected to more restrictive care, such as a conservatorship.

What is so strange is that along with these plans grows the inevitable chorus of those who suggest that involuntary treatment is never humane.  Except, of course, when it is the killing of the unborn who have no say in the matter or the assisted suicide of people who cannot decide for themselves that their lives are not worth living or the mandate of vaccines as condition of freedom or the treatment prior to puberty of gender dysphoria.  We can have a debate about the wisdom and benefit of caring for homeless with psychotic disorders but not about the free choice of a woman to kill the child in her womb or the family (or state) to put an early end to a life, or what some have decided is a life-saving mandate of health care (even though its proof or track record remains to be seen) or what is the appropriate response to possible prepubescent gender questions.

The joke here is inhumane.  We live in a culture which has decided it IS humane to kill the child in the womb right up to the moment of delivery for whatever reason the mother chooses to give.  We live in a culture in which the majority think it is humane to let the feelings of the moment or the judgment of others decide when to painlessly end a life not worth living.  We live in a culture in which it is humane to prevent the onset of puberty or to surgically alter the bodies of children before they have reached any sort of emotional or mental maturity.  Inhumane?  We cannot even define inhumanity.  Why are we so worried about the forced care of those with psychological disorders and homelessness but not about these other things?  Nope, the inhumanity of the whole business is a reflection of our fallen natures gone mad with power and self-imposed importance to the point where there is no sensibility left.

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