Law Project for
              Psychiatric Rights

December 18, 2007


You are receiving this because I believe you are interested in the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights' (PsychRights®) mission of mounting a strategic litigation campaign in the United States against forced psychiatric drugging and electroshock and the massive psychiatric drugging of America's children and youth.  If not, or you otherwise want to be removed from the list, just e-mail me back to that effect.

Fundraising Appeal(s)

I am not fond of asking for money, but the reality is PsychRights needs funds to pursue its mission.   As the end of the year approaches now is a good time to make charitable contributions for those to whom a tax deduction matters.  PsychRights, is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.  There are three separate fundraising efforts from which to choose.  :-)  PsychRights' finances are completely transparent with information posted at


So far this year, PsychRights has received donations from 26 people totalling $15,242 .   Last year 48 people donated $29,203.   In addition to the total amount, it is very important that we have as many donors as possible.  PsychRights intends to make a concerted effort to receive some foundation funding, primarily to hire a National Coordinator and they like to see  significant financial support from the public.  It is critically important that everyone who supports PsychRights' work give something.  Even people on disability income can give $5.  People with reasonably good jobs could give $250 and professionals $500 -- $1,000.   Donations can be sent to:

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

Donations can also be made online by going to PsychRights Home Page and clicking on the PayPal button.

Please make a donation to PsychRights if you have not done so already this year.

Kid Drugging Case

PsychRights is currently gearing up to undertake a case in which we would assert children and youth have legal rights themselves to fight the drugging.   There will be some significants costs to do this correctly, primarily expert witness fees and costs.

It looks like Alaska is once again a good place to undertake such a case.  In that regard, in the preface of the 2007-2008 supplement to his five volume treatise on mental health law, Professor Michael Perlin, said the following about the Myers and Wetherhorn decisions, which PsychRights has won in the last 18 months:

Two cases - one from the US Supreme Court and one from Alaska - dominated new developments in mental disability law this year. . . .
The Alaska case, Wetherhorn v. Alaska Psychiatric Institute,  considers the meaning of "grave disability" in an involuntary civil commitment context in a way that reflects how seriously that state's Supreme Court takes mental disability law issues.  Last year, we characterized its decision in Myers v. Alaska Psychiatric Institute, as "the most important State Supreme Court decision" on the question of the right to refuse treatment in, perhaps two decades. This year, again, the same court continues along the same path, in this case looking not only at the "grave disability issue," but also building on its Myers decision.

Thus,  the Alaska Supreme Court has shown a willingness to treat these issues seriously and has the capacity to write influential opinions.  

Just a few weeks ago, the Alaska Supreme Court issued a decision in a reproductive rights case in which it ruled girls under 17 have the fundamental right under the Alaska constitution to choose if and when to have a child (ie an abortion).  What is important to the prospective kid drugging case PsychRights is contemplating is this decision rules that the minors, themselves, can enforce their fundamental constitutional rights.   In the Myers case, the Alaska Supreme Court held the right to refuse psychiatric drugs is a fundamental constitutional right.  Combining the two cases, minors in Alaska have the right to enforce in their own name their fundamental right to not be psychiatrically drugged. 

PsychRights is setting up a fund specifically to pursue this case and other efforts to fight the massive psychiatric drugging of America's children and youth.   Donations for this fund can be made to the same PsychRights address, noting it is for the PsychRights Children and Youth Fund.

Jim Gottstein Legal Defense Fund

As hard as it is for me to ask for money for PsychRights, it is even harder to to ask for money for my Zyprexa Papers Legal Defense Fund.   To briefly summarize, at his suggestion, I subpoenaed documents from Dr. David Egilman, an expert hired by plaintiffs' lawyers in the huge multi-district Zyprexa Products Liability Case over it causing diabetes and other blood sugar problems.  The documents were subject to a "protective order" keeping them secret under certain conditions.   The protective order provided that if the documents were subpoenaed from another case, such as I did, Eli Lilly was to be given notice and a "reasonable opportunity to object" before the documents could be produced under the subpoena.  Lilly was given such notice and Dr. Egilman provided me with what have become known as the Zyprexa Papers after he had determined Lilly had been given a reasonable opportunity to object.  I had expected Lilly would object in time and would be arguing in the Alaska courts why I should get the documents, but when I received them, believing they had lost all protection, I sent them along to the New York Times and other people I thought would be interested in them.   The New York Times published a number of articles about the Zyprexa Papers, including two on the front page.  See,

I believe my actions were legal and proper, but Judge Jack Weinstein, of the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn), decided I had "conspired" to "steal" the documents.   All of the relevant documents are posted at

This is on appeal, but from the beginning Eli Lilly has threatened to seek financially ruinous civil and criminal contempt sanctions against me and go after my license to practice law.   However, it has settled with Dr. Egilman, and we are currently in settlement talks with them.   I am cautiously optimistic we will be able to reach some sort of agreement and avoid such proceedings.   However, even if so, my legal fees to date are approximately  $210,000, of which I have been able to pay only $145,000.  Of this, $15,000 came from generous donations to my legal defense fund by people like yourself and the rest I had to borrow.  I still have about $65,000 left to pay, am continuing to incur legal defense costs, and already utilized virtually all of my available credit.  The International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (ICSPP) has set up a legal defense fund and if you are so inclined, donations can be made to:

Jim Gottstein Legal Defense Fund, ICSPP
c/o Dominick Riccio, Ph.D.
1036 Park Avenue, Suite 1B
New York, NY 10028

I will be grateful for any contributions to it.  [Note added 12/27/07: It is unclear at this point if these will be tax deductible]

News & Reports

That out of the way, I'd like to bring you up to date on some items we think are important.  Previous e-newsletters and other news about PsychRights is posted at and won't be repeated here.

Subpoenaing Suppressed Drug Data

In our last e-newsletter I reported PsychRights had subpoenaed suppressed drug studies and marketing materials pertaining to the drugs the hospital wanted to force on my client, but these subpoenas had "fallen out" of the case because the hospital had dismissed its petition to forcibly drug PsychRights' client in the face of PsychRights' concerted opposition.  PsychRights continues to assert courts should not be ordering people to be forcibly administered psychiatric drugs when critical safety and effectiveness data is being suppressed by the drug manufacturers.  PsychRights therefore anticipates taking a case in early 2008, from which this can be done.  Of course, this is something lawyers representing people everywhere in the country could/should be doing as well, and PsychRights has posted language that can be used in such subpoenas at

Whitaker Affidavit

Speaking of PsychRights resources that can be used around the country, in the same forced drugging case, PsychRights submitted prefiled testimony by Robert Whitaker, author of Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill, that succinctly and persuasively presents the scientific evidence proving that neuroleptics should not be forced on anyone as being in their best interests.   The form of this testimony is an affidavit, which is available at   We have made the references in Mr. Whitaker's affidavit "clickable" so that the actual studies can be easily downloaded from the Internet.  There are a few of the references we have not yet acquired, which are highlighted in yellow, but we hope to acquire them relatively soon.

Mr. Whitaker has offered to supply affidavits to people who would like to use them in forced drugging cases and make himself available for cross-examination.   I have suggested that $100 for the affidavit, and an hourly rate for cross-examination testimony would be reasonable.  Obviously, there is a limit to Mr. Whitaker's availability and there are logistical issues with respect to testimony.   In Alaska, it is quite common for the courts to allow testimony to be given over the telephone, but in most places that is not true.   Also, Mr. Whitaker is not an MD or PhD, which judges might decide disqualifies him from being considered an expert.   For both of these reasons, it could be very beneficial to find a psychiatrist or PhD level psychologist who is willing to provide similar testimony.

One of the benefits of filing written testimony is it is in the record for an appeal.   The facts presented in Mr. Whitaker's testimony also make a very strong case for obtaining a stay (delay) in the enforcement of any trial court forced drugging order during the appeal because of the irreparable harm such drugging causes.

Of course, as a practical matter, that requires an attorney who will pursue an appeal, including aggressively seeking a stay.  It is hard to obtain such an attorney, but it is conceivable PsychRights could do a limited number of appeals in a limited number of states if a sufficient record has been made.   If defendants' lawyers refuse to file such affidavits, the lawyers can be fired and the affidavit filed by the defendants themselves and PsychRights might be able to prosecute a stay and appeal in a limited number of cases.   The main point is to try and fashion an effective approach that deals with defendants' lawyers not properly representing their clients.

Massachusetts Case

PsychRights was recently informally involved in a case in Massachusetts where we tried to get his appointed lawyer to pursue the aggressive approach which PsychRights has been so successful with in Alaska, including use of the Whitaker Affidavit.  This followed a meeting I had with the head of the agency who appoints the lawyers assigned to represent psychiatric defendants.   The lawyer appointed in this case was considered one of the best.  He felt the hospital had a very weak case and his client would win on the commitment issue.  However, he didn't do much preparation and lost, saying he would have won if it had been a different judge.  On the forced drugging petition ("Rogers Orders" they are called in Massachusetts), a PhD psychologist filed an adapted version of Mr. Whitaker's affidavit and testified in court.  As a result, the Court refused to allow the hospital to forcibly inject the patient, but did grant the forced drugging order for oral medication.  The lawyer is advising the client to just go along to get out, rather than file any appeal.   This is a very difficult choice because one is weighing the problems caused by the drugging versus being locked up and the uncertain prospects of obtaining a stay, let alone winning the appeal.  In this case, the patient, a young man, who could have a full life if he could escape the system is well on his way to a long career as a mental patient and early death if he doesn't manage to escape the system.   It is heart breaking. 

Another Case

PsychRights was also recently informally involved in a case in another state in which Mr. Whitaker's affidavit and an adaptation of it by a doctor of psychology (PsyD) were filed by the defendant after firing his appointed lawyer.   It apparently got the judge's attention a little bit, but the defendant was out on an early release and the judge had already issued an order to have him picked up, hauled to the hospital and forcibly drugged for not taking the drugs during the early release.  The patient has been avoiding being picked up and may end up moving out of the state to try and avoid the psychiatric imprisonment and forced drugging.  His father has been able to hire a private attorney, though, and that might result in an acceptable resolution.  The defendant has reportedly been doing well off the drugs.

Forced Vaccinations

Slightly off topic, but in the "first they came for the mental patients" category, Prince George's County in Maryland recently threatened parents with fines and even jail time if they didn't give their children state-required immunization shots.   See, Just as with psychiatric drugs there are a lot of questions whether the public is being the told the truth about the newer immunizations and whether they are causing more harm than good.   For people interested in this issue, (run by my sister) provides a lot of information.

Other Litigation Resources on PsychRights' Website

A recent conversation made me realize that people don't necessarily understand that in addition to providing information to the public, a main purpose of the PsychRights website is to provide readily available materials of use in litigation fighting forced drugging.  The Whitaker affidavit and form of subpoena, above, are recent examples, but PsychRights has always posted its briefs and other material, including the scientific research that can be used against forced drugging, on its website. 

James B. (Jim) Gottstein, Esq.

Law Project for Psychiatric Rights
406 G Street, Suite 206
Anchorage, Alaska  99501
Phone: (907) 274-7686)  Fax: (907) 274-9493

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            Law Project for
       Psychiatric Rights

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights is a public interest law firm devoted to the defense of people facing the horrors of forced psychiatric drugging.  We are further dedicated to exposing the truth about these drugs and the courts being misled into ordering people to be drugged and subjected to other brain and body damaging interventions against their will.  Extensive information about this is available on our web site, Please donate generously.  Our work is fueled with your IRS 501(c) tax deductible donations.  Thank you for your ongoing help and support.