Citizens Commission on Human Rights International

14,225 supporters

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is a non-profit, mental health industry watchdog. We investigate and expose psychiatric/mental health abuse, and work to ensure patient and consumer protections are enacted as there is rampant abuse in the field of mental health. In this role, CCHR has helped to enact more than 180 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices since it was formed over 48 years ago. There are hundreds of CCHR chapters around the world, with the international headquarters based in Los Angeles, California.

Started 2 petitions

Petitioning state legislators

Laws Needed to Prosecute Psychiatrist/Psychologist Patient Sexual Abuse as Felony

Whereas: Studies indicate an average of 6-10% of psychiatrists or psychologists sexually abuse their patients. “…sexual crimes committed by psychiatrists are estimated at 37 times greater than rapes occurring in the general community,” according to a U.S. law firm.[1] Psychiatrists are four times as likely as other doctors to be sanctioned for sexual misconduct. - 2012 Canadian study.[2] 1 of 20 clients sexually abused by a therapist was a minor, with girls as young as 3 and boys as young as 7, according to a U.S. national survey of therapist-client sex involving minors.[3]  A Canadian task force on sexual abuse of patients found those younger than 14 years accounted for 8.7% of reports of therapist sexual abuse.[4] The damage and emotional repercussions from such sexual abuse includes: feelings of no self-worth, denial, crying spells, helplessness, loneliness, shame, anxiety, nightmares, insomnia, flashbacks, numbness, fear of relationships or intimacy and more.[5] The patient may be persuaded that it was a necessary and integral part of the therapy itself, which is called “therapeutic deception.”[6] About 50% of therapists encounter at least one patient who has been sexually abused by a previous therapist. – Therapist-Patient Sex as Sex Abuse.[7] Therapists who report having sex with patients are often repeat offenders. - Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry Law.[8] Psychiatrist-psychologist patient sexual abuse is not “boundary crossing” or “professional misconduct.” It should always constitute sexual assault or rape. Thirty-two states in the U.S. have some provision for patients to file criminal complaints against therapist sexual abuse, but a 2016 Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation found multiple gaps in laws can leave patients vulnerable to abusive physicians.[9] Therefore, each state or country should implement a “Psychiatric & Behavioral Therapist Sexual Abuse of Patient” law or amendment to its Criminal Code, specifying: Any act of sexual contact, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, sexual misconduct or sexual relations by a therapist (psychiatrist, psychologist, psychotherapist or other behavioral therapist) with a patient or former patient, especially when the professional relationship was terminated primarily for the purpose of engaging in sexual contact, is deemed a felony.[10] “Therapeutic Deception” means that the therapist made the patient think the sexual activity was part of their treatment. Use of “Therapeutic Deception” should carry higher penalties. Consent of the victim shall not be a defense in any prosecution. CCHR encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a psychiatrist, psychologist or psychotherapist, or whose family member has been, to report this to CCHR by filling out this form (information is kept in strictest confidence). Citizens Commission on Human Rights International started this petition to state legislators to ensure protections are provided to patients sexually assaulted in the name of “mental health therapy.” It has helped enact more than 180 laws worldwide to protect individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices. References: [1] “Doctor Sexual Assault Cases: Capable Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers Fight for Justice,” https://www.beasleyfirm.com/medical-malpractice/doctor-sexual-assault/[2] “Psychiatrists four times as likely as other Canadian doctors to be disciplined for sexual misconduct: study,” The National Post, 6 Dec. 2012.[3] http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4317430.aspx[4] “Statistics & Laws Regarding Sexual Abuse by a Doctor or a Health Care Provider,” Averly Law Firm, 18 Mar. 2012, http://www.coloradosuperlawyer.com/injury-law/medical-malpractice/statistics-laws-regarding-sexual-abuse-by-a-doctor-or-a-health-care-provider/[5] Op. cit, “Doctor Sexual Assault Cases.”[6] Clifton Perry, Joan Wallman Kuruc, “Psychotherapists' Sexual Relationships with Their Patients,” Annals of Health Law, Vol. 2, Issue 1, 1993, https://lawecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.bing.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1356&context=annals[7] http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4317430.aspx[8] Gary C. Hankins et al, "Patient-Therapist Sexual Involvement: A Review of Clinical and Research Data," Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry Law, Vol. 22, No.1, 1994, http://jaapl.org/content/jaapl/22/1/109.full.pdf[9] “50-state review uncovers how patients are vulnerable to abusive physicians,” The Atlanta Journal Constitution, 17 Nov. 2016, https://www.ajc.com/news/national/state-review-uncovers-how-patients-are-vulnerable-abusive-physicians/MrE462LHAPKilYj3SA2crN/[10] 2016 Florida Statutes, “Sexual misconduct by a psychotherapist; penalties,” https://law.justia.com/codes/florida/2016/title-xxxii/chapter-491/section-491.0112/

Citizens Commission on Human Rights International
328 supporters
Petitioning Dr. Stephen Ostroff

Ban Electroshock (ECT) Device Being Used on Children, the Elderly and Vulnerable Patients

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed the electroshock therapy (ECT) device to remain on the market without requiring clinical studies proving safety and efficacy, and is considering the American Psychiatric Association’s written proposal to expand ECT’s use on the general public, including on children. According to the FDA’s mission statement, the FDA “is responsible for protecting the public health by ensuring the safety” and “efficacy” of medical products, including “medical devices” (the ECT device included). Due to the documented risks attributed to ECT (cited below), we are calling on the FDA to prohibit its use. At a 2011 FDA Hearing and in the December 2015 FDA Draft Guidance on “Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Devices,” the agency warns that ECT may cause: Prolonged or delayed onset seizures Cardiovascular complications (including heart attacks) Breathing complications Confusion Permanent memory loss Brain damage Death Despite modern ECT being promoted as “new and improved,” there is evidence that contradicts this claim: The study, “Memory and cognitive effects of ECT: informing and assessing patients,” published in Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, stated the “newer methods of ECT have not resulted in an appreciable decrease in adverse effects.” In 2013, the principal investigator of a 20-year retrospective study at the Mayo Clinic admitted that their results showed that ECT does not cure.  A Psychiatric News article in 2016 stated, “We don’t know exactly how electroconvulsive therapy works….” The article further stated: “At least a dozen theories have been proposed as mechanisms of action for ECT but few, if any, have found much acceptance,” with one theory suggesting that “ECT caused a good kind of brain damage.” According to Federal Medicare records (Medicare primarily covers the elderly and disabled), over 20,000 Americans received electroshock in 2014 under Medicare alone. State Medicaid records document children aged five and younger are being subjected to electroshock in the U.S. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is now lobbying the FDA to widen their use of electroshock on children, stating in their letter to the FDA that having ECT available is “especially meaningful in children and adolescents….” This is in direct contradiction to the World Health Organization’s Resource Book on Mental Health, Human Rights and Legislation, which states, “There are no indications for the use of ECT on minors, and hence this should be prohibited through legislation.” California, Colorado, Tennessee and Texas have already banned the use of ECT on those 0-12 and 0-16. The Western Australian government recently banned the use of ECT on those younger than 14, with criminal penalties if this is violated. ECT should never be used on children. This is why several U.S. states and Australia have acted accordingly to ban its use on them. Neither should such a brutal treatment be used on our elderly, pregnant women or any vulnerable individual seeking help. In light of the fact that the FDA admits ECT can cause cardiovascular complications, memory loss, cognitive impairment, brain damage and death and that psychiatrists admit they do not know how ECT “works,” we call upon the FDA to ban the electroshock (ECT) device from use. CCHR encourages anyone who has been harmed by ECT, or whose family member has been harmed, to report this to CCHR by filling out this form (all information kept in strictest confidence). This petition was started by Citizens Commission on Human Rights International, a mental health industry watchdog that has helped to enact more than 175 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices.

Citizens Commission on Human Rights International
13,897 supporters