It is easy getting caught up in thinking you are advocating for a patient. Physicians do it all the time. We do it when patients need medications they can't afford. We do it for patients who need disability or who are too injured to work. Sometimes it is warranted. Sometimes it is not. A good physician knows the difference. Remember the worker's comp issues for the firemen in Boston?
I would like to believe that we are trained to look at all sides of the issue and base our decisions on not only what is good for the patient but also what is good for society as a whole. We are not perfect but years of experience helps. Put that in contrast with a case that occurred in Maine in 2006. William Bruce was pushed to be released from a psychiatric center by an federally funded advocacy group and subsequently killed his mother two months later with a hatchet to the head. All this was nicely explained by the WSJ and proves that some people are so self-righteous and narrow minded that they have no business being involved in these type of cases.
William was obviously psychotic and doctors continually gave their opinions that he was not ready to leave and he was still a threat. Instead, advocates and lawyers from the Maine's Disability and Rights Center got involved and coached the patient into saying the right things to get out. The bigger issue here is their stance that patients have a right to NOT take their medications. This sounds obvious enough for things like cholesterol and hypertension but what about in those psychiatric disorders where the patient will turn violent without their pills? It doesn't matter to these groups and they seemingly have NO guilt that William hacked up his mother.
The father of the patient, now widowed, has helped push bills through our state legislature: One gives mental-health professionals greater leeway to disclose patient information to those who may be affected by that person's conduct. Another makes it easier to medicate involuntarily committed patients. What do the "patient advocates" think of this? Ms. Helen Bailey (one of William Bruce's advocates) and another attorney filed a lawsuit that could undermine portions of the law directed which makes it easier for hospitals to compel patients to take medication. Let me get this straight. The same person directly responsible for getting this patient home without his meds who then killed his mother is suing to make sure this trend can continue? Isn't it time for some attorneys to look at all sides of the issue and base their decisions on not only what is good for the patient but what is good for society as a whole? Obviously not.