Thursday, July 20, 2006

Deadly Use of Psychiatric Restraints

  • Between 1950 and 1964, more people died in U.S. psychiatric hospitals than were killed in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Persian Gulf War combined. In fact, between 1950 and 1990, the total number of psychiatric inpatient deaths exceeded the cumulative number of war casualties by at least 70%.
  • Between 1998 and 1999, 150 people died from restraint procedures in psychiatric facilities in the United States. Thirteen of these deaths over a two-year period were of teenagers and children placed under psychiatric care.

The above are some facts I found on restraints from You would think that a mental hospital would be a caring place where mental patients get the help they need to get better. This is not so. Virtually every day through psychiatric drugs, restraints, brutality, assault and neglect, mental patients are tortured and killed.
Horror stories have recently emerged of children dying strapped to beds and chairs. Others were pinned to floors by hospital staff, crying out that they couldn't breathe. One six-year-old boy, for instance, died alone of asphyxiation while strapped to a wheelchair. Another teenager died of the same cause, while staffers shoved a towel over his mouth and wrapped a sheet around his head. Far from being told the circumstances under which their children died, family members were frequently told that these deaths were due to natural causes or unfortunate accidents.
Due to exposure of these needless and tragic deaths, federal regulations in the United States now prohibit the use of physical and chemical restraints to coerce or discipline psychiatric patients. The regulation, passed in 1999, also ordered a national reporting system to be implemented and for government funding to be cut to any facility that fails to abide by the regulations.
Yet despite these federal regulations, the deaths continue. The Citizen's Commission on Human Rights is partnering with state and federal agencies to abolish this deadly practice.

For more information on deadly restraints, go to, or try this link.

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