Law Project for
              Psychiatric Rights

October 2, 2007.


You are being sent this because I think you are interested in the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights®) mission to mount a serious, strategic litigation against forced psychiatric drugging and electroshock in the United States.   A rather detailed action plan on this is available at  It is two years old, but I think it holds up.  If, however, you are not interested in receiving these infrequent e-mails, just let me know and you will be removed from the list. 

Bruce Wittington Leaving PsychRights

Bruce Whittington will be leaving as PsychRights Executive Director effective October 1, 2007.  Citing personal reasons Bruce has decided to return to university study, and pursue opportunities in Canada to promote the civil rights of people labelled with psychiatric diagnoses. PsychRights certainly wishes Bruce success in these endeavors.

Bill Bigley Forced Drugging Case

For the last month, PsychRights has been in an all out legal battle on behalf of Bill Bigley's efforts to keep from being forcibly drugged.  Mr. Bigley is a classic example of someone whose life has been totally destroyed by forced psychiatric drugging.  He has been psychiatrically imprisoned (euphemistically referred to as "involuntarily commitment") over 70 times since 1980 when he suffered a nervous breakdown due to the breakup of his marriage, the loss of his daughters and being saddled with overwhelming financial obligations.  The case is described at It really is quite a story.

Unfortunately, the court filings are not available on this website for now because the trial court, totally improperly in my view, sealed his court records even though Mr. Bigley elected to have his hearing open to the public.  We have moved to open the court file to the public and that motion is supposed to be public and therefore posted at 

From a strategic standpoint this case is potentially very important because we are seeking to establish the precedent that the state is required to pay for a less intrusive alternative.  The groundwork for this was laid last year in the Myers case which we won just over a year ago.  The core holding of Myers is:

[A] court may not permit a treatment facility to administer psychotropic drugs unless the court makes findings that comply with all applicable statutory requirements and, in addition, expressly finds by clear and convincing evidence that the proposed treatment is in the patient's best interests and that no less intrusive alternative is available.

It is the "less intrusive alternative" piece of it that we are seeking to establish in this case at this point. 

The Myers decision can be found at Speaking of the Myers case, the following is what New York Law School professor Michael Perlin wrote about it in the preface to this year's cumulative supplement to his treatise, Mental Disability Law: Civil and Criminal:

[T]he Alaska Supreme Court's right-to-refuse-treatment decision in Myers v. Alaska Psychiatric Institute,  finding a robust right to refuse, is the most important state Supreme Court decision on this topic in many years, perhaps the most important since Rivers v. Katz some 20 years ago.

For more on what Professor Perlin wrote about the importance of the Myers decision, you can go to page 3 of but, beware this is a 1.5 megabyte file.

One of the things that fell out of Mr. Bigley's current case is PsychRights subpoenaing the manufacturers of Risperdal, Seroquel, Zyprexa and Depakote for all of their hidden studies and documents about their efforts to mislead doctors into prescribing the drugs inappropriately.  The reason for these subpoenas is the court can't possibly properly find the drug(s) to be in the person's best interests, as required in Myers, when the drug companies are hiding negative data.  The reason why this fell out of the case is the hospital decided to drop the forced drugging petition (and try to get out of having to provide a less intrusive alternative).

By the way Mr. Bigley was also my client in the case from which I subpoenaed the Zyprexa Papers, which is next.  In that case, a big reason why the Brooklyn Federal Court decided I had "conspired" to "steal" the Zyprexa Papers was its erroneous conclusion I "was not involved in any litigation in which it would have been appropriate to subpoena the Zyprexa documents."  Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth.  Mr. Bigley had been drugged with Zyprexa within a couple months before I subpoenaed the Zyprexa Papers and was "taken down" with an injection of Zyprexa within a couple months after it as well.

Zyprexa Papers

Speaking of the Zyprexa Papers, you might remember that in December of last year I subpoenaed suppressed documents showing the massive amount of harm being done by Zyprexa and the illegal off-label promotion of it by Eli Lilly from Dr. David Egilman, who was an expert in the massive Zyprexa diabetes litigation in Brooklyn Federal Court.  After Dr. Egilman notified Eli Lilly of the subpoena and he decided Lilly did not object after having reasonable opportunity to do so as required under the secrecy order issued by the Brooklyn Federal Court, he turned them over to me.  Believing they had lost all secrecy protection at that point, I turned them over to the New York Times and others, including  Congressman Henry Waxman and National Public Radio, various scholars and activists.  As a result, the New York Times ran 4 major articles, including a call for a Congressional Investigation.  See,

They also found their way to the Internet.  Congress is now investigating, at least 9 states have filed Medicaid fraud lawsuits against Lilly, and $35 billion shareholder lawsuits have also been filed against Lilly.  Unfortunately, even though I believe I followed the proper procedures and had every right to release the Zyprexa Papers once I had them, as I mentioned above, the federal court found Dr. Egilman, the New York Times reporter, and I engaged in a conspiracy to steal the documents.  This decision is currently on appeal. As of this writing, I am still being threatened by Lilly with civil and criminal contempt.  However, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel on this because Lilly recently settled with Dr. Egilman (See,   and and Lilly might also settle with me.

ICSPP Conference

Some months ago I sent a notice about the annual conference of the International Center for the Study of Psychology and Psychiatry (ICSPP), being held next weekend, October 13 & 14 in Washington DC:  

focusing on Medical, psychological, legal, policy and economic issues
1.      Adult, Child And Parental Legal Rights and Responsibilities
2.      Validity and Reliability of Mental Screening Tests
3.      Efficacy and Side Effects of Psychotropic Drugs
4.      Effective Humanistic Approaches to Child Development
5.      Policy and Economic Aspects

The program has since been fleshed out and it is not too late to register.  I am going to be there to give a talk and will be available to talk to people about mounting strategic litigation in states where PsychRights doesn't have anything going yet.

The scheduled plenary speakers are:

There are also great break out sessions.  See, for the latest version of the program.  

Finally, on Monday, October 15th, there is going to be a press conference on Capitol Hill and then people talking to Representatives and Senators about the issue.

This is going to be a great conference and while I know it is late, if you can come I know you will find it worthwhile.  The registration form can be downloaded from

October East Coast Trip

The ICSPP conference kicks off a two week East Coast Trip in which I am giving a number of talks and meeting with folks.

Charlottesville, Virginia-October 17 
Northampton, Massachusetts-October 22

Boston, Massachusetts-October 24 to October 27

On October 24th, at 11:00, I am giving a talk to the Law and Psychiatry group at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.   I suspect this won't be that easy to get into, but I am going to be in Boston for the rest of the week and it seems possible to find a time(s) to get together with other folks while I am there if people want to try and arrange that.

NARPA Conference

I sent out an announcement about this excellent conference in Los Angeles November 14-17 a couple of weeks ago and won't repeat that information here  However, I do want to say that I will be available to talk with people who want to try and mount a strategic litigation campaign in their locale.  I may even be able to have a general meeting where people who are interested can get together.

Information on this conference is available at

Chapter in Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry

I have written a chapter in Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry, a new book from Peter Lehmann Publishing, edited by internationally renowned psychiatric survivor Peter Lehmann, and psychiatrist Peter Stastny.  It is available in the United States from MindFreedom at

The chapter I wrote is titled Money, Rights and Alternatives: Enforcing Legal Rights as a Mechanism for Creating Non-medical Model Alternatives.   This is a must-get book for people who want to learn about what is actually happening with alternatives to current mainstream psychiatric practices and how people have gone about making them happen.  Contributors include:
Volkmar Aderhold, Laurie Ahern, Birgitta Alakare, Karyn Baker, Ulrich Bartmann, Agnes Beier, Regina Bellion, Wilma Boevink, Pat Bracken, Stefan Bräunling, Ludger Bruckmann, Giuseppe Bucalo, Dorothea S. Buck-Zerchin, Sarah Carr, Tina Coldham, Bhargavi Davar, Anne Marie DiGiacomo, Constance Dollwet, Jeanne Dumont, Merinda Epstein, Sandra Escher, Jim Gottstein, Chris Hansen, Geoff Hardy, Petra Hartmann, Alfred Hausotter, Michael Herrick, Guy Holmes, Andrew Hughes, Theodor Itten, Maths Jesperson, Kristine Jones, Hannelore Klafki, Miriam Krücke, Peter Lehmann, Bruce E. Levine, Harold A. Maio, Rufus May, Shery Mead, Kate Millett, Maryse Mitchell-Brody, David Oaks, Peter Rippmann, Marius Romme, Marc Rufer, Gisela Sartori, Erich Schützendorf, Jaakko Seikkula, Andy Smith, Zoran Solomun, Peter Stastny, Chris Stevenson, Dan Taylor, Philip Thomas, Jan Wallcraft, David Webb, Uta Wehde, Scott Welsch, Salma Yasmeen, Laura Ziegler and Ursula Zingler

I know a number of these contributors and they are all terrific.  Buy this book if you can.  I can't imagine you will be disappointed.  In fact, if you buy it and don't like it, send it to PsychRights and we will send you the purchase price back. 

Article in EHPP

ICSPP's journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry (EHPP) also just published an article I wrote, titled, Psychiatrists' Failure to Inform: Is There Substantial Financial Exposure?    Everyone should join ICSPP and subscribe to EHPP.  However, for those of you who can't afford it, this article is available at

PsychRights Finances

If you believe the work of PsychRights is important I hope you will give PsychRights a tax deductible contribution.  Checks can be made payable and mailed to:

Law Project for Psychiatric Rights
406 G Street, Suite 206
Anchorage, AK 99501. 

Donations can also be made over the web by going to and clicking on the donate button.  This doesn't work for some people for some reason and we haven't come up with a solution so far for those for whom it doesn't work.  If it doesn't work for you, even though I know it is a hassle, it would be great if you could pop a check in the mail to PsychRights at the above address. 

Please give generously.   PsychRights needs it.  Not counting donations that come in from now to the end of the year, it looks like PsychRights will end up with about $30,000 in the bank at the end of the year.  However, PsychRights really needs to be able to hire an Executive Director, and in order to do that we need at least $75,000 in the bank.  Realistically, PsychRights is not going to be able to do a lot in places other than Alaska without being able to hire an Executive Director.

Speaking of Alaska, we have funding to open Soteria-Alaska next year, which is a non-coercive alternative to psychiatric hospitalization for people who are newly diagnosed and who will be allowed to get through their crisis without being put on psych drugs.  In addition, just this last July CHOICES, Inc., which stands for Consumers Having Ownership in Creating Effective Services, started providing services.

It is my hope the professionals among you will devote at least $1,000 of your charitable giving this year to PsychRights.  It seems like most working people could give $100 -- $250, and even people on Disability Income could give $5 per month if fighting forced psychiatry is important to you. 

PsychRights' finances are completely open; we post our financial statements at