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The Otises want an expansion of civil commitment criteria, to include "additional significant symptoms." That's cause for alarm. Since we already have the means to address danger to self or others or the inability to care for oneself, what, exactly, are these "additional symptoms" that might warrant the drastic step of commitment?
Hearing voices, perhaps? Acting more flamboyant than usual? Being quiet or secretive? Impulsivity or poor judgment?
Parental worries that, however we might sympathize, have no ground except in hindsight?
How about becoming fixated on religion, muttering prayers, giving away possessions, and conversing with birds? Do we really want a law that would threaten St. Francis?
Our commitment laws may not be perfect, but if we widen the net, we do so at our own peril.
posted 3 years ago
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