What Ever Happened to Godly Mathew? Part II


On May 22, city officials decided that they were no longer going to send emergency psychiatric cases to Friends Hospital, the nation’s first mental hospital. Why? Investigation of a patient suicide  revealed that there wasn’t adequate supervision in the facility, particularly its Crisis Response Center.  But Godly Mathew, who’s been waging a 100-day protest since May 9, says he experienced abuse at Friends Hospital firsthand, when he was sent there in December 2004. Since he began the protest, he’s started a blog called One Hundred Day Protest, a Twitter account and a website to spread the word about his protest. PG caught up with him to ask him about his time at Friends Hospital. The interview took place at his protest site, at the intersection of the Roosevelt Boulevard and Langdon Street. [This is Part II of the interview, you can find the first part here.]

Q: What were you feelings towards your family shortly before you went to Friends Hospital for the second time?
A: At this point, it had been almost a year since the first time I had gone to Friends and things hadn’t gotten any better between me and my family. If you keep calling someone crazy for long enough, they’re going to get fed up and react. I began to cut off everyone. I felt I was giving all this love and it wasn’t being reciprocated.

Q: Why were you sent to Friends the second time?
A: I was sent to Friends Hospital the second time after a domestic incident. I had behaved pretty inappropriately and got into a fight with a relative; the police were called. My uncle and his wife showed up with the police, along with another friend of theirs (who happened to be a psychiatrist) and her husband. It was like some sort of psychiatric witch-hunt. You could sense a sort of mob mentality among them – they were all telling the police officer that I need help. When the police asked my parents if they wanted to press charges, they said “No.” The police officer told them all to leave at that point – they all left and I thought that was the end of it.

Q: What happened next ?
A: Later that night, my uncle went to Friends Hospital and got a ‘302’. I was in my bedroom that evening when two policemen came in. They said “You’re coming with us to Friends Hospital to get some treatment.” I’m thinking this has to be a mistake.

Q: How did the police treat you this time?
A: These guys were not too nice. I was trying to explain that this was a mistake but they were not interested in hearing anything. I really did not want to go to Friends Hospital. They hand cuffed me and one of the cuffs was pinching my skin but I did not say anything. I did not want them to feel that I was just being difficult.

Q: What were your parents doing?
A: Well, my mom is sitting down on the dining room floor just crying. But later I realized she was probably thinking that if I went to Friends Hospital and got treatment, that somehow it would get me to go back to college. I was pleading with my mom to say something but she was silent and did not even look at me. At the last second, my dad’s like “No, don’t take him.” to the police officer.

Q: How did the cops respond?
A: I did not know at the time, but once a ‘302’ gets authorized, the police officers do not have any discretion in the matter. They have to bring you in. They put me in the patty wagon and as they were closing the door, one of them said “Come on, let’s get this mother f* out of here.” as he slammed the door. It was completely dark inside.

Q: When you walked into Friends Hospital, for the second time, were you afraid?
A: Not so much afraid as concerned about what was going to happen to me. I gave them my belt and my keys as they requested. They patted me down for weapons. I also gave them a urine sample. My whole intention was to be compliant so they will let me out. I was extremely polite with staff. I was doing my best to relax myself so that they do not make me take any meds.

[A cop in a jeep stops at the red light and asks him how he was abused. When Godly tells him, he shakes his head disdainfully. “Oh, god!” he exclaims.]

Q: How did the staff at Friends Hospital treat you when you entered the center?
A: I had to sign a few papers but everything was adequately explained to me. That evening was pretty much ‘normal’. Only exception was when I was giving my social security number during the admission, the staff member put his arms in the air and said “Calm down, okay. Just calm down…” even though I was perfectly calm. It seemed that he was just trying to get a reaction out of me, so I did not give him the opportunity by trying to argue that I was already calm.

Q: What happened after you were admitted?
A: There were other patients at the CRC (Crisis Response Center) waiting room and I conversed with some of them. They were all there on ‘302’s so they could not leave at will either. The staff took me to have my picture taken and they gave me an ID. bracelet. Later a girl about my age was brought in who took pills because her finance canceled their engagement and I felt a very deep empathy for her. I still wonder what happened to her and if she is doing okay. Later that night, close to midnight, I was told that I will be getting a room in ‘five minutes’ but nothing materialized and I did not bother to ask about the room.

Q: How did you sleep?
A: You can’t really fall asleep easily in a mental hospital (at least the first night). You’re too anxious about what’s going to happen. I just asked for a blanket, wrapped myself in it and laid down on the floor. I knew I could not get any sleep but I wanted to be relaxed for the next morning.

Q: What happened the next day?
A: There was no breakfast or lunch. The night before, there was a pitcher of water, crackers and sandwiches on the a counter where the staff sat. Well, since the morning, the crackers, sandwiches, and plastic cups were still there but no water. I had nothing to drink the second day’s stay at the facility from 7am to approximately 1 pm. I did get a small carton of milk in the afternoon (around 1pm). People were going up to the counter where the staff sat to inquire about their status or get some info or even just water. They were just ignored and no one spoke to them. No one told us what was going on or how much longer we were going to be detained. No one got any water in the morning as far as I know except for the girl I mentioned who had to wait for like 10 minutes.

Q: What happened when you tried to talk to staff?
A: I saw patients waiting for staff for 10, 15 minutes even longer for someone to address their concerns. They were completely ignored. One of the guys in the waiting room was shivering. I went to the counter to ask for a blanket for him. I was told by a female nurse to ‘wait 5 minutes’ and to go back to the waiting room and so I did. When I went almost 20 minutes later to remind her about the blanket, she just started yelling at me and told me to go back to the waiting room. So I went back without the blanket.

Q: Were you evaluated by a doctor?
A: The evening I was admitted there was a doctor who interviewed me. He said that they are going to keep me for observation and that my family was to come in the next day so they can see how I react. The next morning I noticed the Indian doctor from the first time I was admitted.

Q: Did he recognized you?
A: He didn’t say anything, but it’s probably not too often that an Indian kid is brought to a psychiatric facility. I was hoping that he forgot since I did not follow up with the outpatient stuff.

[A man leans out of his car to yell “Liar.”]

Q: What were your feeling at that time?
A: The staff’s attitude troubled me. First of all, you’re putting people against their will in room without basic accommodations. Being deprived of your civil liberties is in itself a very stressful situation. But then when the staff is ignoring them and no one is communicating with them as to what is going on – then it becomes incredibly stressful. I told the patients that once I get out of there, I’ll make sure to complain to the the proper authorities so that this does not happen again.

Q: It was late morning by then. What happened next?
A: Well this is when the abuse occurred. Its hard to describe in just a few words. There was no water, no one is telling us anything as far as what’s going to happen. I notice the toll this is taking on the patients. Some of them are starting to breakdown emotionally. Many are pacing the hallways restlessly. I thought it was better to stay put so that I don’t seem agitated. A middle aged man was complaining how they were going to force him to take meds for schizophrenia and there was nothing he could do. Later, I remember an older man starting to cry. When I tried to reassure him, he just shook his head and left the room. I was alone in the room when I dozed off. Next thing I know I am being shaken back and forth by a female staff. She had me firmly by my shoulders and was just shaking me back and forth really hard.

She continued shaking and did not stop until I recoiled my shoulders. I noticed that the television screen across me was now showing the image of a patient restrained in a bed with only his hands free. He has his hands up in a defensive posture and there are two staff members approaching him on each sides of the bed. I looked at the image for 3 or 4 seconds before realizing that I better look away. Mean while she is yelling at me “MATHEW, HURRY UP MATHEW”, “YOU’RE GOING TO YOUR ROOM MATHEW’. “HURRY UP”. I begin to follow her and she turns around and asks “Mathew Godly, that’s your name right Mathew’?. When I tell her my name is Godly Mathew, she yells “MATHEW GODLY”, “YOUR NAME IS MATHEW GODLY, MATHEW”. “HOW COME YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR NAME, MATHEW?” She kept insisting my name was Mathew Godly. When I showed her my license she apologized and turns to the other staff and asks “Do you know who is doing this? This has got to be a conspiracy. Some one is trying to switch his name around. This has got to be a conspiracy”. There was plenty of staff present as this was going on but no one said anything.

Q: What did she do next?
A: My heart was still racing from being shaken awoke and everything else that took place. Then she took a clipboard and put it in front of me. “MATHEW SIGN THESE PAPERS MATHEW”. I took the pencil that she handed me and then “MATHEW WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT PENCIL MATHEW?’ “PUT THE PENCIL DOWN MATHEW” and I put the pencil down right away. Then she handed me a pen and continued with the yelling “MATHEW SIGN RIGHT HERE MATHEW. – WHAT DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND MATHEW, SIGN RIGHT HERE, MATHEW”, etc. I signed four to six sheets of paper, including consent to treatment forms that I would not have signed ordinarily.

Q: Why didn’t you refuse?
A: Everything happened so fast and manner of shaking me while sleeping and yelling, etc. was very disorienting. It was under duress. She didn’t give me any time to read them or anything. She had the papers covered so I could not see above the signature line. Some were consent to treatment forms and I unwittingly signed them. Nothing was explained. There were other staff present including the Indian doctor right there and anyone there should have known that this was not allowed procedure but no one intervened. At the slightest hesitation on my part to sign she would pound on the clipboard and yell “RIGHT HERE MATHEW, WHAT DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND, MATHEW? SIGN RIGHT HERE'” and I signed from the fear I was subjected to. The whole thing from the shaking asleep to being tricked into signing the consent forms happened in a few short minutes. Then she sent me back to the waiting room and said that I will be going to my room in ‘five minutes’. Of course that did not happen and about 20 minutes elapsed.

Q: How were you feeling at that point?
A: My heart was pounding and I was full of fear and exhausted. I was hoping that I would get a room just so they won’t keep doing this. I was afraid that they were going to just keep me there till I fell asleep and do the shaking, etc. all over again. I probably would have gotten so scared that I would start crying or or try to run out of there so I did not want that to happen because then they can restrain you. So anticipating an other shaking scenario, I pretended to fall asleep – I stretched and yawned and closed my eyes. I stayed still in my chair for about half an hour. Only this time they did not come and shake me – someone came in and taped me on my shoulder and said that they wanted to take me to my room. “Hey Mathew Godly, that’s your name right? You told us your name was Mathew Godly, right?’. I did not respond but I kept my eyes closed as if I was asleep.

Q: Were you awake?
A: Yes, and I was fully conscious and aware of everything that was taking place. They would come in and tap me on the shoulder and say ‘Hey Mathew, you told us your name is Mathew Godly, right.” and “Mathew Godly, we just wanted to make sure we got your name right Mathew. Mathew Godly that is your name right?, Okay Mathew”. This went on for about 20 minutes or more. I was still anticipating that they would shake me so I continued to pretend that I was asleep and just braced myself mentally. I did not want to open my eyes just so they can walk away and keep me there till I really fell asleep and then shake me. I relaxed all my muscles. Then a male staff came in the room lifted me up. They lifted my hand and then dropped it to see if I was still conscious. I just let my hand drop. Then they moved me back a bit and suddenly let me go such that my head hit the wall on the way down. “Oh, he had to have felt that” one of the male staff remarked.

At that point, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that these were not legally acceptable procedures, even for a mental hospital. “I’m sorry Mathew” “That was an accident Mathew” “Are you OK, Mathew? That was an accident. Mathew Godly, that’s your name right Mathew?” “We just want to make sure we have your name right, Mathew”. I was now very, very scared and concerned for my safety. I just laid on the ground and did not move. I knew then that they could do what ever they wanted to me and get away with it. They put me back in the chair. Finally like a half hour later they placed a 911 call and requested an ambulance “We found a patient unconscious on the floor” and “about five minutes ago” neither of which was true. Meanwhile I continued to stay still thinking that the ambulance would get me out of Friends Hospital. The ambulance came and they threw me on the stretcher.

Q: What happened inside the ambulance?
A: I was totally conscious the entire time of course but I was thinking at that point that this was going to be my only chance of escaping from Friends Hospital. I just lay still because at that point I just wanted to get out of there. What I did not count on was that two of the staff from Friends would accompany me in the ambulance.

Q: What did they do at that point?
A: They opened my mouth and started putting a tube down my mouth. By then, I knew it was too late to open my eyes – there was no way I could have explained myself. Plus, I was afraid that they would take me back to Friends and I didn’t want to go back there. I was so scared, I didn’t even gag when they put the tube down my throat. Then began the second tube, this time it was inserted into my nose. They were literally thrusting the tube in. It was extremely painful but I managed to lay still and not flinch. I was in the worst pain you can imagine but my fear was greater than the pain and so I endured. They began suctioning fluids from my nose and I can hear and feel the flow through the tubes.

Then a little later, they take my pants and boxers off and inserted the third tube, into my urinary tract. That was even more painful than the tube in my nose even though they were very gentle this time. They began suctioning my stomach and by now the only way to describe it is that I am submerged in an ocean of pain and my whole body is saturated with pain. There was a point when one of the female staff from Friends commented “Aww… poor thing” and then burst into a short laughter. My only concern was that I would stay alive and remember everything that took place so that I can tell the whole world what happened.

Q: What happened when you got to the hospital?
A: I got to Frankford Hospital and I was lying on the stretcher. I was completely naked. There were a lot of people around me and I could sense the commotion around me. The stretcher was being rushed through the hallway until finally they stopped. They put something pressurized on my nose and made me inhale it and each time my body bounced on the stretcher. It was very strong and painful and eventually I opened my eyes. And then (according to my Frankford Hospital medical records) they sedated me.

Q: Was your family contacted?
A: I don’t think that my parents were ever contacted. My aunt told me months later how she found out from her brother and came to see me. When she came I was in the ICU and was in a partial coma and on the ventilator. She told me how she kept talking to me because that helps people regain consciousness and how I finally opened my eyes and tried to speak but I could not manage to say anything because my voice was gone. She gave me a pen and paper and I scribbled some notes down about what they were doing to me at Friends.

Q: What did you tell the doctors at Frankford?
A: I was in Frankford for about four days because the doctors, operating under the assumption that I had taken drugs, put charcoal in my system that ended up in my lungs and gave me pneumonia. I knew that it was not in my best interest to tell everything that happened because I doubted they were going to believe me. They told me that they are going to sent me back to Friends as soon as I recovered. I started contacting all the people I knew, to ask for their help in getting me out.

Q: How did your acquaintances react?
A: They were shocked. Most of my friends consider me to be quite eccentric but they knew me well enough that they could attest for the type of person I really am. Thankfully, almost everyone at Frankford was on my side and they believed that I didn’t belong at Friends either.

Q: What did the doctors say?
A: My medical doctor was great and so were most of my nurses. I always had a good line of communication with my doctor and felt that she would have my interests at heart. I told her about my family situation and could tell that she empathized with me. I had a separate doctor as a psychiatrist. He walked in one next day, and briefly informed me that as soon as I got better from the pneumonia, that I was going back to Friends Hospital so they can ‘finish their evaluation’. I asked if there was any other option and he said no. As he walked out of my hospital room, he says, “By the way, I also work at Friends, it’s a good hospital.” I was terrified by the prospect of going back to Friends, but I knew it was pointless to talk with the psychiatrist. I was calling all my friends and some of them started coming to see me and voiced their support.

Later a nurse bought me a medicine and told me that they were to ‘calm me down’. They were under the direction of the psychiatrist and I did not want to being involuntarily drugged so I took them against my wishes. I complained to my medial doctor about being sent back to Friends and she said that she will see what she can do about it. I felt that my medical doctor had a lot of integrity simply because of the way she responded to me during our conversations. We had a very healthy and mutually respectful dialogue. Until the fourth day, word from my nurses was still that I was going to be discharged to Friends Hospital as soon as a room became available for me at Friends. Some of my friends bought my parents and everyone began insisting that I be sent home. Finally at the last minute I was informed me that I was being discharged home. Apparently some psychiatrist had ‘revoked’ my 302. It was a miracle but one that was possible only because of the people that came to the hospital and showed their support for me.

Q: After you went home, what happened?
A: That was when I really experienced what madness was all about. I suffered from what I later recognized to be post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. If I was still at Friends, it would have been so routine for them to diagnose to diagnose me as a ‘schizophrenic’ and forcefully drug me against my will. I also went thorough the full spectrum of many of the so called “mental illnesses’ including depression and paranoia. There were weeks when I just laid in bed. There were also days when I could not sleep at all. The times I slept I would have frequent nightmares and wake up drenched in sweat, my heart pounding erratically. I lashed out verbally at my family at even the slightest perception of a threat.

Luckily my parents and family finally backed off a good deal and let me find my own way out of it. I had a few people in my life that became really close to me and endured my acute eccentricity during those ‘dark’ periods and my recovery was due to their encouragement and consistent support that they showed me during those trying times. If it was not for their support my family would have probably sent me back to Friends.

[To be continued in “What Ever Happened to Godly Mathew? Part III]

22 responses to “What Ever Happened to Godly Mathew? Part II

  1. Pingback: What Ever Happened to Godly Mathew? Part I « My Philadelphia Story

  2. A fascinating read. Hope it has a happy ending. Seems like a good guy. Wonder if the hospital has any comment on the matter.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. I remember having stress symptoms and flashbacks after my own psychiatric hospitalization many moons ago. Once I spent 3 continuous days in seclusion (“quiet room”), which was pretty scary. They forgot to take me to the bathroom so I had to go in a plastic juice container. It was pretty degrading.

    (I have chosen to be anonymous because I fear discrimination in my work place. Once people know you had a history of mental illness, the label follows you for life. I don’t like being treated differently because of my history.)

  4. Thanks Anonymous @ June 18, 2009 8:15 pm. I hope more psychiatric survivors have the courage to post their comments on the horrors of psychiatry, even if they do so anonymously. Your comment is a powerful testament to the inhumanity of psychiatry. It is also the first one so far from a fellow survivor who identified them self as such. That means a lot. Thanks for speaking out. I hope you are doing okay.

  5. Pingback: What Ever Happened to Godly Mathew? Part II | depression symptoms

  6. Jose Fullano de Tal

    What happened their was classic demoralization techniques. first you gain their trust and assurance. then you start to break them slowly, starting with the physical self in order to make the person psyche weak. after that you take away all individuality. after that they make sure that you think what they want you to think. your very blessed my friend that you got out before the later stages of this could occur. but I’m glade that you have the courage to use you voice as a weapon against this injustice. Shalom

  7. get serious

    sounds like your off your meds.

  8. The Protector

    I was also subjected to such abuses. They are experts at annihilating the individual. I have become extremely cynical and angry but what pulls me back is listening to optimistic school children on the train, or a young chinese teenager on a radio call in with his hopes for the future. Why should these young people grow up in a world where they might get abused and tortured because they happen to run across some trauma in their life’s that is probably not their fault ? So I continue to try and do something.

    Why don’t more protest ? I think it is fear … “if I protest against these people then they will lock me up as well”. This is not true with some simple common sense. As the old saying goes .. “For evil to triumph it is only necessary that good people do nothing” .. that is *so* true.

    Peace be with you !

  9. James Thomas

    There is just so much information that is delibretly omitted by the interviewee. Half of it sounds exaggerated or made up. The interviewee has an unhealthy family to begin with but on top of that he too is unhealthy and is probably medically unable to realize and admit it.

  10. Without taking this on a personal level, I just want to respond to ‘get serious’ and ‘James Thomas’ : If I was a patient at a mental hospital and either of them were my psychiatrist, the opinions they so brazenly expressed would have been enough for them to label me with a ‘mental illness’ diagnosis and to force me to take ‘meds’ against my will. Just an other example of how madness is in the mind of the beholder and how flawed the mental health system is that lets psychiatrists define what is in the patient’s best interest simply because he is an ‘expert’ in the field. Such a system is analogous to letting the prosecutor speak on behalf of the defendant simply because he is an ‘expert’ at law and knows more about it than the defendant does. That of course would be seen as a clear injustice and a complete lack of due process. Unfortunately, justice and due process are virtually absent in the mental health system and patients’ civil rights are routinely violated in these institutions. Thanks guys for being honest and for helping to provide yet an other example of the flaws of the psychiatric model. I just hope you can learn to be more open minded to experiences that do not strictly coincide with your own or at least state your points more coherently so that an intelligent dialogue is possible instead of merely attacking someone you have not even met because they are different from you. And we wonder why more victims don’t speak out . . .

  11. It takes a brave soul to do what you are doing. Most people would just go on with their lives and forget about it. Keep it up.

  12. This page shouldn’t remain without proofreading.

  13. I was nearly killed at 19 at Chope Hospital in Burlingame, California, by injection of haldol. This occured after I was shackled, ankles and wrists, to a bed, naked (my hospital gown had fallen from my body), and left behind a partition, surrounded by men, and a male intern repeatedly cruising my bed to view my naked body. I was left there all night, unconscious from the injection which very nearly stopped my heart. In the morning, the nurses had a good laugh at my expense. God only knows what happened to me in the night. I was kept drugged so that I was always slipping out of consciousness the whole ten days I was imprisoned there (for having been unable to sleep one night-and mistakenly thinking this was a place that could give me some safe help). I want the world to know what abusive, sadistic places mental hospitals are.

    Recently, I was hospitalized at Mills-Peninsula in Burlingame, CA. I was quietly observing all the legal violations and patient abuses. My requests for a phone call and writing implements were refused for eight hours. I was not offered food. I asked for water but it wasn’t given until eight hours later. The nurse got angry that I persisted in observing, so she came screaming at me with a needle, threatening to inject me. I screamed for help, knowing that she might in ject me with haldol, the drug that nearly stopped my heart when I was 19. When security entered the room, I quickly explained the situation, that I feared she would inject me w/a drug lethal to me. Instead of helping me, the Chief of Security, Ken Love, asked me “Can you feel the love?” while his security guard suffocated me with a pillow. When the pillow was removed, I asked them to please check their records because I had been in their hospital before and the record would show I could die if given haldol. I begged them. Instead, they injected me with haldol, then looked at the computer. The nurse, Joanne, then wept on the Chief of Security’s shoulder (Ken Love), and said, You see what I have to put up with?

    They didn’t have a room for me (Thank God), so they farmed me out to Fremont Hospital (I was never seen by a psychiatrist at Mills-Peninsula); where I was given a room in which the toilet overflowed, filling the room with toilet water, even alongside my bed. The cleaning person just took a towel and threw it on the floor, leaving a huge puddle of water still in the room, next to the bed. When I was finally seen by a psychiatrist two days later, I was released. Afterall, there was nothing wrong with me.

    I fear my name is on a list with the police as one who can be taken to the hospitals, since I once voluntarilly admitted, now they know they can get away with it anytime. It’s big money, and the police are bounty hunters. The hospital bills total about $8000, with $4400 of that coming from Mills Peninsula alone, for eight hours imprisonment and abuse that nearly killed me.

  14. Pingback: What Ever Happened to Godly Mathew? Part III « My Philadelphia Story

  15. This story engenders little sympathy from this psychiatric survivor.

    What social theories does the author put forward to explain his institutional experiences? There are abundant bureaucratic and organizational behavior literature and research findings to explain this author’s experiences. The author’s writing is devoid of any interpretative explanation based on known sociological knowledge.

    As a pyschiatric survivor from the 1970s, the first thing I learned was that society cannot relate to a person with a mental illness. This includes also the so called professionals. It is always up to the victim of mental illness to bridge that gulf.

    I don’t want to hear wining. I want revelations.

  16. I identified with this. I am a psychiatric abuse survivor as well. Thank you for sharing this story, we need more people to speak out about what is going wrong so that it can be changed.

    I hope that the trauma you encountered will heal.

    Hopefully there will be progress in mental health and people’s wellbeing becoming more valued in modern society.

  17. I am not really sure what to make of this story, to be honest.

    I am a person with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder with psychotic features. I choose not to take medication for several reasons.

    The first reason is that the meds are often prescribed off-label, meaning they are intended for other illnesses, primarily seizure disorders. So what are the consequences really going to be on my long-term health? I already have liver problems.

    The second reason for my decision is the personality deadening that occurs. I want to experience my life and not observe it.

    However, I do not think the psychiatric community is the malevolent entity that this person, and mindfreedom make them out to be.

    Certainly, there are awful hospitals, and awful doctors and other treatment team members. But there are also very good ones! They have helped countless difficult-to-treat people get their lives back on track.

    As for this particular person’s experience…
    I am not at all convinced that this is the “normal” experience for psych patients.

    First, his entire family is outrageous! I don’t care what culture they belong to, there is no excuse for that kind of behavior.

    Also, there seems to be a conspiracy here. Everyone knows everyone and cooperates to “lock him up” because he does not want to go to college. Odd, to say the least.

    Clearly, he was taken to a very poorly run hospital staffed by people with little in the way of ethics or compassion.

    Not having water/snacks for a few hours is unpleasant, not abuse. Not being offered breakfast or lunch is a sign this is poorly run facility, with little regard for their patients.

    Lastly, I am not sure what he expected was going to happen while he was “pretending” to be unconcious. That makes so little sense, it is shocking. Of course you were all “tubed” up. They thought you were unconsious! Because you faked it. And it hurts because of the nature of the procedure. I have been tubed in a few instances, and it hurts and feels like they are shoving it in. They are not, it is simply painful

    I am glad he has his life on some sort of track, from what he says. But I don’t think his story really represents any universal experience.. simply his own. Tragic, though it is, if for no other reason than his shockingly dysfunctional family.

    I wish him well.

  18. I hope Godly won’t mind me commenting on this.

    So blame it all on the family ? Pretty presumptuous to say the least.

    I appreciate your words about not everyone in the system being “out to get us”. There is always the good, the bad and the ugly. But so many people are critically uninformed on this issue. I try and explain some of this here in England and all I get are blank stares and inappropriate responses. The abuses and illegal acts become to be, perversely, blamed on the victim.

    I have been reading “War Against the Weak” by Edwin Black. I challenge you to read that and then say there is not a strategised level of abuse going on. It is Eugenics. If anyone is perceived to have a weakness then they must be destroyed. Pure and simple.

    This reached it’s most nasty point in WW2, although elements of society were carrying out Eugenics in many countries well before WW2, including America and Britain.

    Look here … http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/global_battle_grounds/nuremberg_experiments.html

    Actual Nuremberg documents of experiments carried out on people in concentration camps. The language is identical to the language used today to describe the “side effects” that people suffer from and the use of multiple drugs, one after the other. It is human experimentation ! .. and I am shocked that we have become so “modern” that we can’t see this for what it is. The abuses of WW2 are blasted at us ad infinitum as some kind of “lesson from history”. well, it’s too late. It has all happened again ! This is another genocide I’m afraid, from the suicide of mental health patients due to the drugs, to the death of people from treatable diseases like Cancer.

    It has led to a dangerous atmosphere of an almost total suspension of reality where people’s rights are breached and abused almost as a matter of course. It is repulsive and it must be stopped. I suggest anyone reading this do their research and do what they can to end this. This can be achieved.

  19. James Thomas // June 20, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    There is just so much information that is delibretly omitted by the interviewee. Half of it sounds exaggerated or made up. The interviewee has an unhealthy family to begin with but on top of that he too is unhealthy and is probably medically unable to realize and admit it.

    I really have to agree 100% with James Thomas, the entire situation sounds exaggerated!

    My opinion, this entire situation all FICTION!

  20. This entire story is ridiculous from beginning to end. First of all Friends hospital is not a medical surgical unit, so it is not equipped to have performed any of the procedures that he claimed were done. Secondly it was Frankford hospital that performed all the procedures that were documented in the medical chart. When he arrived at Frankford hospital from Friends hospital obviously the medical staff were given a report on the patients condition. In addition the EMT’s also provided a medical report to the treatment team at Frankford hospital. The insertion of a tube ( mouth or nose ), the urinary catheter, & the decision to induce vomiting as a prophylactic measure in case of an over dose pending the lab results; were all decisions made by the medical staff at Frankford hospital. I believe they did a complete neurological assessment and determined that he needed these procedures done. If he was feigning unconsciousness as he says this could have easily been determined by the medical team and the EMT’s. So, why does he have a beef with a psychiatric facility who makes sure a patient is medically cleared before accepting them on any unit? It is protocol if a patient appears medically unstable to be transferred to the nearest hospital via ambulance for immediate evaluation. What medical procedures that hospital chooses to use, is no reflection of the psychiatric facility referring the patient for evaluation. In my opinion he has not given any examples of abuse, and emotional trauma is hard to measure in a patient presenting with a psychiatric disorder. It begs the age old question; what came first the chicken or the egg? Is it him or Friends? The fact that he put so much energy into this situation makes me question his mental stability. I feel from his rantings and demonstrative behavior outside of a treatment facility, that he violated the rights of other patients seeking treatment. He used scare tactics to prevent other people from seeking psychiatric treatment at Friends because of what he perceived as his own maltreatment, and that is wrong. In my opinion he would have had the same experience at another psychiatric hospital if he presented with those same behaviors such as: feigning unconsciousness and refusing help. How many people would allow their private medical information to become public? This is why HIPPA laws are in place. He has given the public complete access to documents in his medical chart, and that is a sign of mental illness. He doesn’t seem to know boundaries. Nothing in his medical chart was necessary for review by the public in presenting his case. A synopsis by him would have sufficed. His chart is full of medical jargon, lab values and tests results for the interpretation and viewing by the medical staff. No one else cares. All that the documents in his chart served to do was to confuse the lay person. I have been on both sides of the fence. I have worked as a health-care practitioner at Friends hospital and i am a mental health consumer. Before i became stable on my medications i had numerous in patient psychiatric hospitalizations and i have also been under a 302 court commit for suicidal- ideation. In addition i have been in psychotherapy for over 17 years with the same therapist, and as an adjunct i was also in partial hospitalization group therapy programs. I have two college degrees & one is in nursing. At one time i was an inpatient at Friends hospital myself. I am quite familiar with the crisis response centers in the city because at one time i was a ‘frequent flyer’ in the mental health system. I have bright young adults who also have a mental health diagnosis and one of them has been at Friends hospital twice. Two of my sons attended Central high school. One completed 10 years at Masterman before transferring to Central. The other went to a Creative and Performing Arts school in town and majored in creative writing. Once they were stabilized on their medications, they were able to be completely functional. Two of them are now attending college and doing quite well. Medication and therapy are the key components to success. Most importantly is accepting your mental illness, and stop blaming others such as: parents & hospitals or culture & ethnicity. My mental illness was as a consequence of a sexually sadistic father and a masochistic indifferent mother. I never really knew my biological mother, but both my parents are foreigners. I must say though that their is a genetic component, because my children were not traumatized in the vicious way i was, although they had a dysfunctional family. I feel he needs to pick and choose his battles, and standing outside a mental institution, ‘protesting’, displaying his confidential medical records, and writing numerous letters do nothing. Hopefully he has since moved on, gotten stable on his medications, and learned to accept and live with his mental illness. Life is to short to waste.

  21. If your main allegation of “abuse” is that you were intubated perhaps if you hadn’t feigned unconsciousness that would never have happened. Intubation is standard procedure to keep someone alive who is unresponsive,obviously you aren’t supposed to be awake during this so of course it was painful. As far as water not being provided,sure thats uncalled for and not right but abusive? Lastly,the “abuse” of people being “forced”to take medication? How many schizophrenics and other mentally ill folks know or admit they are mentally ill when not yet treated? Most believe nothings wrong with them so of course the majority believe they don’t need medication. Seems to me that you brought the worst of the abuse on yourself by pretending to be catatonic chief. Taking an honest look at yourself and your own part in this would probably be a huge step in putting this behind you, growing as a normal, functioning adult. The sad thing is claims like this make people not listen to or believe REAL cases of abuse.

  22. emily macdonald

    i am sooo sorry for your experience godly and for some of these stupid comments people are making god bless you i know your telling the truth

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