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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

In the News: Trump Wants More Asylums

On March 5, the New York Times published an article reviewing Trump's call for more asylums in the wake of the recent Florida school shooting, and how it intersects with recommendations from a certain set of psychiatrists. Like so many others, Trump has used this latest tragedy as an opportunity to promote the myth that more beds in psychiatric institutions (or more institutions overall) would somehow prevent future incidents of this nature.
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This magical thinking of sorts completely ignores several facts including that detailed reviews of these incidents suggests that more hospital beds would not have prevented most (if any) of the shootings that have received media attention over the last several years.

The article goes on to review the opinion of psychiatrists who are promoting the 'return to the asylum' idea, as represented in the following excerpt:

“When people are going back and forth from prisons to hospitals, that’s a sign they might have benefited from longer-term treatment options,” said Dominic Sisti, a medical ethicist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine who was co-author of a 2015 paper subtitled “Bring Back the Asylum” in the journal JAMA.

This, of course, ignores the fact that when treatment does not work, more of the same treatment is not necessarily going to be the answer. The article also lends substantial time and focus to E. Fuller Torrey, known for the promotion of heavily biased information and being one of the nation's leading promoters of forced treatment, including Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (also known euphemistically as 'Assisted Outpatient Treatment' or 'AOT').

To read the full New York Times article, click here.

And for a critical review of the 'return to asylum' idea
as written by Vermont psychiatrist, Sandy Steingard, click here.

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