On its About Us page, the Psych Central website states it’s “the Internet’s largest and oldest independent mental health social network” and that “We are today’s modern voice for mental health information, emotional support and advocacy”.
They recently posted a two part blog series entitled “Protecting yourself from Unethical Mental Health Settings” and “Spotting Ethical and Legal Violations In Therapy” which, to the website’s credit, begins to expose how the extreme violations of human rights and human decency practiced by psychiatry have filtered down to psychologists and other mental health counselors.
Here are some of the abuses they found to be the most unethical practices in mental health facilities.
- Changing information in a contract or client’s file to make a mental health agency or professional look professional.
- Neglecting to respond to crisis calls or visits
- Having a dual relationship with a client (having a sexual relationship with a client
- Maintaining a client-therapist relationship for the sole purpose of getting paid through insurance- insurance fraud.
- Hiring and paying an incompetent mental health therapist and covering their multiple mistakes.
- Fabricating data from mental health tests or clinical studies.
- Changing a mental health diagnosis in order to receive insurance reimbursement(s).
- Changing billing information to reflect more time spent in therapy than truly spent in order to receive more money.
- Illegal “Kickbacks” or “fee splitting” – a doctor or therapist makes a referral to another specialist and receives money in return for sending you to their friend.
- Gossiping or sharing the private details of their clients with colleagues or on cell phones in highly populated places such as elevators, parking lots, staircases, or in the cafeteria.
A reader of this blog reminded the author that she omitted one important abuse and the writer agreed it was true:
- Physical abuse by staff and nurses using force and restraints that results in damage or death of the patient
To this list we might add:
- Attempting mental health therapy sessions with a patient who is at the same time taking psychiatric medications that adversely affect mental and physical processes
- Condoning the use of electric shock therapies, brain surgeries and other brutal treatments on mental health patients
Ironically, the ethical codes of psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors actually prohibit these abuses by their members.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) makes a point that all psychiatrists should practice in accordance with the medical code of ethics set forth in the Principles of Medical Ethics of the American Medical Association (do no harm, etc.) and in The Principles of Medical Ethics with Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry.
Here we find:
“A physician shall uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional interactions and strive to report physicians deficient in character or competence, or engaging in fraud or deception to appropriate entities.
1. The requirement that the physician conduct himself/herself with propriety in his or her profession and in all the actions of his or her life is especially important in the case of the psychiatrist because the patient tends to model his or her behavior after that of his or her psychiatrist by identification. Further, the necessary intensity of the treatment relationship may tend to activate sexual and other needs and fantasies on the part of both patient and psychiatrist, while weakening the objectivity necessary for control. Additionally, the inherent inequality in the doctor-patient relationship may lead to exploitation of the patient. Sexual activity with a current or former patient is unethical.”
And what if the psychiatrist himself is crazy?
“4. Special consideration should be given to those psychiatrists who, because of mental illness, jeopardize the welfare of their patients and their own reputations and practices. It is ethical, even encouraged, for another psychiatrist to intercede in such situations.”
What about “fee splitting”?
“7. An arrangement in which a psychiatrist provides supervision or administration to other physicians or nonmedical persons for a percentage of their fees or gross income is not acceptable; this would constitute fee splitting.”
Confidentiality of patient’s private information he reveals to the psychiatrist?
“A physician shall respect the rights of patients, colleagues, and other health professionals, and shall safeguard patient confidences and privacy within the constraints of the law.
1. Psychiatric records, including even the identification of a person as a patient, must be protected with extreme care. Confidentiality is essential to psychiatric treatment. This is based in part on the special nature of psychiatric therapy as well as on the traditional ethical relationship between physician and patient.”
And, finally, this amazing statement:
“5. Psychiatrists shall not participate in torture.”
The American Psychological Association’s (APA) has its code – “Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct” and the American Counseling Association’s has its code for counselors. Both codes label fee splitting, insurance fraud, sexual involvement with patients and causing harm to the patient as being unethical violations of their professions.
Unfortunately, these professionals tend to protect the most unethical members of their group hoping to keep the reputation of their profession intact.
Psych Central writes, “Sadly, agency-based political structure and organizational favoritism often lies at the heart of unethical practices. Unethical, incompetent, and mediocre practices within mental health services are not new issues to mental health professionals. In fact, cover up and “hush-“hush” practices probably occur each day. It is something that can spike great debate across the nation for many reasons. One reason is that many mental health professionals hold strongly to the idea that we must uphold our profession, even if our profession engages in unethical or incompetent behaviors. A second reason is because many mental health agencies promote a “hush-hush” mentality that prevents even the most ethical and knowledgeable of professionals to speak out on unethical practices within the agency.”
Fortunately, citizen groups have appeared to uncover the truth.
One such public service informational project is provided by DataSearch, Inc., a public records research and retrieval company founded by Ken Kramer in Florida.
He writes, “Welcome to your source for data & documents on U.S.A. psychiatrists… This is all about finding and providing material for prosecution of psychiatrists and is an “in-your-face” endeavor to expose the nonsense of psychiatrists.”
He provides separate categories to explore the frauds of psychiatry in billing, in the DSM and in its so-called “scientific basis”. The site also covers human rights violations by psychiatry including breaks in confidentially, sexual misconduct, use of force, brutal treatments, psychological torture, the dangers of psychiatric drugs and the financial ties of psychiatrists to government and big pharmaceutical companies.
Under “Bizarre Psych News” are found news stories of abuses that Psych Central only hints at:
“Kathryn Neraas – Psychiatrist Suspended because of Mental Impairment”– Washington State
“Enrique Lara Gonzalez,Chief Psychiatrist, Arranged Murder of Another Psychiatrist According to Police” – Merida, Yucatan, Mexico
“Said Farzad -Psychiatrist Threatened to Blow Up an Insurance Office” – Tacoma, Wa.
“Riyaz Mazcuri (aka Riaz) Texas Psychiatrist arrested – accused of trafficking Indian women for forced labor, prostitution” – Tyler, Tx
“Curtis Steele – Psychiatrist took naked photos of a 14-year-old patient – loses license” – Halifax, Canada
“Anil Ramachandran Psychiatrist – License Suspended – Under Investigation for Sex with Patient – DNA Evidence” – Libertyville, Illinois
Here is the stated goal of “mental health” world wide in the words of Dr. G. Brock Chisholm, psychiatrist and co-founder of the World Federation of Mental Health
“To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism and religious dogmas…”
Seth Farber, PhD, a former psychologist and staunch critic of this plan has this to say,
“The mental health establishment has snowed the American people: it launches the most unimaginable brutal psychological and physical assault on human beings in distress, calls this ‘medical treatment’, and then blames the outcome on ‘mental illness’.
It’s clearly time for the American people to wake up to the unethical mental health fraud and the unethical purposes behind it. It’s time to seek out the many alternatives to psychiatric drugs and violent treatments.