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Laws Limit Options When a Student Is Mentally Ill
The New York Times ^ | April 19, 2007 | Tamar Lewin

Posted on 04/22/2007 8:45:27 AM PDT by Clintonfatigued

Federal privacy and antidiscrimination laws restrict how universities can deal with students who have mental health problems.

For the most part, universities cannot tell parents about their children’s problems without the student’s consent. They cannot release any information in a student’s medical record without consent. And they cannot put students on involuntary medical leave, just because they develop a serious mental illness.

Nor is knowing when to worry about student behavior, and what action to take, always so clear.

“They can’t really kick someone out because they’re writing papers about weird topics, even if they seem withdrawn and hostile,” said Dr. Richard Kadison, chief of mental health services at Harvard University. “Most state laws are pretty clear: you can only bring students to hospitals if there is imminent risk to themselves or someone else, so universities are in a bit of a bind that way.”

But, he said, some schools do mandate limited amounts of treatment in certain circumstances

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 04/22/2007 8:45:28 AM PDT by Clintonfatigued
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To: Clintonfatigued
They can’t really kick someone out because they’re writing papers about weird topics, even if they seem withdrawn and hostile,”

I'll bet you can kick someone out for setting a fire in the dorm.

2 posted on 04/22/2007 8:49:56 AM PDT by freespirited
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To: Clintonfatigued
I'm a very private person. I like my privacy. But I really think that privacy has become a huge problem. There are so many people, and they move around so much, and change jobs so often, it has become very, very hard to really know the people in your neighborhood, at work, or in your child's school.

I wouldn't be surprised if expectations of privacy start to become whittled down in the next few years. And to be honest, I'd like to see that happen. There are lunatics and criminals out there, and I for one would like to know who they are. If society cannot lock them up, then at least let me know who they are so I can take steps to protect myself and my family.

To leave these people out in society, and to hide their dangerous nature from other citizens, is a great evil.

3 posted on 04/22/2007 8:53:31 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Enoch Powell was right.)
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To: freespirited
"la la la (hands over ears) ... you are using facts in your argument against me ... la la la ... how unfair," school administrator wishing anonymity.
4 posted on 04/22/2007 8:53:48 AM PDT by NonValueAdded ("The arrogance of ignorance is astounding" NVA 4/22/07)
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To: freespirited

The bottom line is; a significant number of “wise adults” weaseled out of their responsibilities when confronted with this monster. Start with the judge who recognized mental illness but skipped putting him in for 90 days of examination (which would have been picked up by NCIC and prevented him from guying a gun), then the wise, white bearded intellectuals on campus, who today are claiming we don’t spend enough on mental health.


5 posted on 04/22/2007 8:54:05 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: freespirited

Not necessarily, I know at my university that wouldn’t happen to freshmen because they are guaranteed housing until their sophomore year. People set off fireworks in the stairwells all the time and still live on campus.


6 posted on 04/22/2007 8:55:39 AM PDT by figgers3036
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To: Clintonfatigued

Keep in mind that millions of Americans have some form of mental illness (depression, bipolar, etc) and the overwhelming majority are no more dangerous to others than anyone else. I fear that Cho and all the publicity around him will create stigmas for a lot of good people and may prevent people from acknowledging their issues and getting help.


7 posted on 04/22/2007 8:56:35 AM PDT by SmoothTalker
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To: SmoothTalker

That is a legitimate concern. However, perhaps some parents whose teenage or young adult children are disturbed and who are in denial may be willing to admit there is a problem now.


8 posted on 04/22/2007 8:58:10 AM PDT by Clintonfatigued (If the GOP were to stop worshiping Free Trade as if it were a religion, they'd win every election)
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To: ClearCase_guy
How would anyone know?

Many people who are schizophrenic are bright and will hide their *voices* from the world. Sociopaths/psychopaths are also often brilliant and know how to present themselves as the *nice* person.

It isn’t privacy that is the problem, IMO. It is just that the human psyche can take many twists and turns and can also hide behind an acceptable exterior. There are documented cases of people who have committed terrible acts, never been caught, have status in society and are only finally known after years of getting away with things.

I have no idea how we get inside someones head, let alone prevent conditions that are often genetic, often don’t manifest until puberty or beyond and so, are generally unknown until that person breaks and commits some horrendous act.

I fear that any attempt to mandate identification of illness would result in the forced commitment of people who are simply eccentric or who manifest non-PC behavior. I certainly do not want to see attempts at identifying *pre-criminals* or any increase in the drugging of people who perhaps are simply creative and bored within the educational institutions. And if they are identified, what then? We do not now have the capacity to detain and medicate everyone whom we already know are dangerous. Within medical instituions and prisons, people have the right to refuse medication. Again, we have known instances of psychopaths who refuse meds and then kill someone inside the facility.

Be situationally aware and trust your gut with anyone in this world. Even then, most of us cannot identify someone prior to catching them in the act, IMO.
9 posted on 04/22/2007 9:15:31 AM PDT by reformedliberal (If the troops are mostly home by November 2008, how will the Dems disenfranchise them, this time?)
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To: reformedliberal
Many people who are schizophrenic are bright and will hide their *voices* from the world. Sociopaths/psychopaths are also often brilliant and know how to present themselves as the *nice* person.


10 posted on 04/22/2007 9:25:17 AM PDT by digger48
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To: Clintonfatigued

I guess the only option left is to let law abiding, decent people to have the right to defend themselves. That would mean that we don’t allow large killing zones, also called gun free zones to be created by the politically correct and functionally stupid.


11 posted on 04/22/2007 9:36:29 AM PDT by det dweller too
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To: SmoothTalker

Mental illness is not a right of passage. In most cases it manifests antisocial behavior and presents a danger to the sick person or others. Psychopaths are mentally ill. They are not a normative variation on a theme of consciousness.
Our prisons are bursting with mentally ill criminals. In nearly every case it was not until their sickness resulted in violent criminal activity that they were acknowledged as a danger.
As we continue to spiral into valueless social chaos mental illness increases. The cure is moral standards, strong community values, vigorous religious organizations and intolerance of violent antisocial behavior. These solutions are all, of course, the very conditions the ACLU and ACP protest.
As furthur proof of our cultural insanity - if more is needed - today we celebrate communism as Earth Day, a tribute to those who seek the final destruction of a free and morally responsible people in a free and morally responsible society. Their solution: totalitarian autocracy; termination of all private rights; regulate all religious activity; end private enterprise; put unelected government in charge of everything.
Happy Earth Day


12 posted on 04/22/2007 9:42:17 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (here come I, gravitas in tow.)
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To: Clintonfatigued

For the most part, universities cannot tell parents about their children’s problems without the student’s consent. They cannot release any information in a student’s medical record without consent. And they cannot put students on involuntary medical leave, just because they develop a serious mental illness.

I find it extremely interesting that the Liberals are such hypocrites that they can’t see themselves in what they say. Who got these laws passed? Who is against parental rights? Who got all the mentally ill released and put on the streets? Who is it that proposes that mentally ill be protected by these laws in ALL circumstance?


13 posted on 04/22/2007 9:54:01 AM PDT by JayAr36 (No Party, just a Conservative.)
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To: Amos the Prophet

“The cure is moral standards, strong community values, vigorous religious organizations and intolerance of violent antisocial behavior.”

I am confused by what you are saying. Obviously, I agree that these are all important values. However, I see nothing in them that helps the mentally ill.

Some of the best people I know, from strong families, with good Christian values have children that have serious problems with mental illness. Mental illness is a huge drain on families and communities. There are no easy answers, even when a patient is diagnosed. Sometimes these things turn out badly.


14 posted on 04/22/2007 10:25:04 AM PDT by ga medic
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To: JayAr36

“Who is against parental rights?”

I don’t know if this is an example of parental rights. College students are adults, and as adults, they have a right to keep their personal affairs private. They have the option to include their parents or not. I believe this is as it should be.


15 posted on 04/22/2007 10:27:13 AM PDT by ga medic
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To: Clintonfatigued
Federal privacy and antidiscrimination laws restrict how universities can deal with students who have mental health problems.

A very common way of putting, "there's nothing anyone can do".

From 1788 until 1963, we had laws to effectively deal with psychopaths.

The "new" laws were passed by humans, and the humans who presently occupy high office can pass other laws to replace them.

16 posted on 04/22/2007 10:29:59 AM PDT by Jim Noble (We don't need to know what Cho thought. We need to know what Librescu thought.)
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To: Clintonfatigued
.response from so called "experts" on what needs to be done..
17 posted on 04/22/2007 10:30:49 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan ((NY Times: "Fake but Accurate"))
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To: freespirited

The VTech guy did that. And he wasn’t thrown out.


18 posted on 04/22/2007 10:33:32 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Life isn't fair. It's just fairer than death, that's all.--William Goldman)
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To: ClearCase_guy

The vast majority of assaults, murders and rapes are those that the offender afflicts on people that he knows.

You have a much higher chance of being in a car accident than you do of any of the above.

The crime ratio has increased, because our population has increased.

And you may want your private information to become public, to protect yourself.

But stay the hell away from my hospital records, my banking records, my tax information, my social security card, my school transcripts, etc. It’s none of your business. I haven’t broken one of your phantom laws, so I shouldn’t have to be punished. I’m a law abiding person with no police record other than minor traffic violations. I shouldn’t have to prove to the world that I am safe to inhabit it.


19 posted on 04/22/2007 10:37:50 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Life isn't fair. It's just fairer than death, that's all.--William Goldman)
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To: figgers3036

“People set off fireworks in the stairwells all the time..”

WHile that is extremely stupid it does not have the hostility of setting a fire.

One think I would change is this concept of not being able to let parents know what is going on with their children. It is a restriction that is not placed on other people, employers for example.


20 posted on 04/22/2007 10:44:03 AM PDT by jocon307 (The Silent Majority - silent no longer)
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To: Amos the Prophet

““The cure is moral standards, strong community values, vigorous religious organizations and intolerance of violent antisocial behavior.”

Won’t do a thing to correct conditions such as bipolar which are caused by chemical imbalances. For some it can help but for many a drug such as lithium can work miracles.


21 posted on 04/22/2007 11:01:01 AM PDT by SmoothTalker
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To: Amos the Prophet

“Mental illness is not a right of passage.”

I have no earthly idea what this sentence means.


22 posted on 04/22/2007 11:02:04 AM PDT by SmoothTalker
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To: JayAr36
Besides the fact that a college-age student is an adult, how can anyone know the family dynamic, not to mention the genetics of the family. It could very well be that a parent is also ill or has a borderline personality disorder that has exacerbated the student’s condition, genetic or otherwise.

Not all families are positive. Not all parents are mature, healthy and competent. This is not a politically determined opinion, it is a fact and such families are not rare.

The laws that released the mentally ill from institutions were incremental and politically determined. The progressives can now deal with the unintended consequences, but R D Laing and Thomas Szasz bear a lot of the blame. Laing is dead, but IIRC, Szasz is still around, yet I never see his name in the news and AFAIK, no one has thought to ask him about any of this, which is, of course, convenient.

23 posted on 04/22/2007 12:10:01 PM PDT by reformedliberal (If the troops are mostly home by November 2008, how will the Dems disenfranchise them, this time?)
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To: ga medic
College students are adults, and as adults, they have a right to keep their personal affairs private.

As a parent of a soon-to-be 18 year old, medical privacy is an issue. In the case of a catastrophic medical event, the parent of an 18+ year old may not have access or influence of the medical decisions. I like to recommend for parents to have a medical power of attorney carefully drawn up for this situation.

I know of a woman who's daughter was in a coma due to an accident, and ran into problem even getting information of her condition until the legal stuff was worked out. Young adults need their privacy over routine health care, but the HIPPA laws are a problem in case of an real emergency.

24 posted on 04/22/2007 12:48:06 PM PDT by myprecious
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To: SmoothTalker
“Mental illness is not a right of passage.”

I have no earthly idea what this sentence means.

Then you have not been privy to contemporary youth culture with its many lifestyle addictions.

Homosesuality is another mental abherration to which its adherents insist upon a right of expression. Another is political pathologies such as green, antiwar, animal rights, global warming, Bush hatred, and their ilk.

These are all self induced mental and emotional pathologies the intent of which is to damage the cultural fiber.

While there are links between brain chemistry and certain conditions such as schizophrenia it is not clear whether the tail is wagging the dog. Poor social constructs are likewise included in the mix.

My thesis is really very simple. Much of our difficulty in dealing with mental illness derives from our unwillingness to put the brakes on abherrant behavior early in the game. We allow cognative and behavioral dissonance to get far out of hand before we are willing to take a strong hand at insisting upon acceptable thinking and behavior.

We are a culture that permits far more dissonance than is good for us. This can only result in legal constraints being imposed where community standards are not working. Thus we come to rely on government to do what free people should do.

25 posted on 04/22/2007 1:13:31 PM PDT by Louis Foxwell (here come I, gravitas in tow.)
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To: figgers3036
People set off fireworks in the stairwells all the time and still live on campus.

I can see where administrators would see that as a prank that doesnt endanger the dorm residents. It wouldnt be considered arson, would it?

But setting fire to a dorm room is different. And in Virginia, setting fire to a public building is a felony. If the school brass had reported it to the police, Cho would not have been able to buy a gun (legally). You can argue that he could have found one illegally, but that might not have been so easy for a guy who didnt talk.

26 posted on 04/23/2007 7:20:53 AM PDT by freespirited
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To: ga medic

LIBERALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


27 posted on 04/23/2007 7:24:41 AM PDT by JayAr36 (No Party, just a Conservative.)
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To: freespirited

We generally consider it a prank, but if one of those fireworks sets off the sprinkler system, and they have before by jumping around and getting too close to the sprinkler head, then all of the sprinklers from that floor down are set off. It’s a great system and works like its supposed to: by flooding each room, which destroys everyone’s books and electronics.

But I can see where the situation’s different. The first case of a fire in a dorm room is malice, the second case is stupidity. But after being an RA and stuff, I now just how hard it can be to kick people out of Housing, let alone the university. Thankfully, mine DOES kick people out, but even so it’s rather difficult.


28 posted on 04/23/2007 1:56:17 PM PDT by figgers3036
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