On the New Murphy Bill…. The myth of benign intent



Rep. Murphy would like to pass a law protecting us from the people who protect us from people like him.

In an astonishing campaign one of the most astonishing things has been the Murphy campaign against PAIMI, the federal program set up to monitor and protect the rights of those served in the mental health system. His first effort was to basically behead it by obliterating their funding. I remember when he said they were reprehensible. One of the posts linked above talks about what is truly reprehensible. I hope you will read it.

His new effort is to basically prevent them from lobbying about systematic problems in the mental health system. It is a little like restricting the conversation about the Titanic to the death of one person because legally you can only talk about one person at a time.

There are systematic problems. There are places and areas where issues of injury and maltreatment are consistent issues. The system is not benign and despite what Rep Murphy would have us believe is often not driven by benign intent for those it serves.

This notion of benign intent is critical although I don’t know that Murphy ever uses those exact words.

Much of his bill…. AOT, hospitalization, PAIMI, Hipaa etc…. only major sense of you accept the notion of benign intent. You must believe the system means well and not just that. You must believe that the harm done to many people is an aberration and not a direct result of the way they do business. You must believe the system protects and no further oversight is needed.

Most of the people I know that would argue even vaguely like that has not been served by the system. Part of the training of every doctor is that they should be sick. Part of the education of every mental health worker is that they should spend some time being treated as if (and forgive the language) they were “crazy.”

If you look at the Murphy Bill much of it is about silence…. the enforced silence of anyone who might question or disagree with him. His campaign against PAIMI is an effort to give an open road to the other things he proposes.

I am glad there is a watchman at the gate. Keep them there.

Protect PAIMI. It protects you.

Tell your representative to oppose this provision of the bill.


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