Faith Myers was PsychRights' first client, which resulted in the Myers v. Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API)
Decision on June 30, 2006, holding Alaska's forced psychiatric drugging statute
unconstitutional for not requiring the court to find the drugging to be in the
patient's best interest and there are no less restrictive alternatives
available. Ms. Myers and her partner, Dorrance Collins, have since then
been very active advocates for patients at API on a number of important issues.
One is patient's right to Gender Choice for intimate care.
Faith and Dorrance have also been advocating for a fair
Grievance Policy. When they made substantial progress with the API
Governing Body over the grievance policy issue, API
made moves to downgrade its authority. Finally, Ms. Myers and Mr. Collins
have been advocating for mixing the Forensic Patients,
which are those who are transferred to API for various reasons associated with
the criminal justice system in with the other units.
Many patients, both men and women, have been the victim of sexual abuse and
having someone of the abusing sex come into the bathroom, shower, etc., can be
very retraumatizing. Due almost exclusively to Mr. Collins' and Ms. Myers'
advocacy, the Alaska Legislature passed
SB8, mandating patient choice, in the waning hours of the 2008 Session.
See, News Release. On
April 19, 2008, Lisa Demer of the Anchorage Daily News wrote a story about their
Proponents overjoyed at API bill passage: Law ensures patients may choose gender
of caregiver. The picture to the right is from that story.