February 13, 2023: Your Consent is Not Required, Part 1
One of the stories Rob Wipond has included in his new book Your Consent is Not Required: The Rise in Psychiatric detentions, Forced Treatment, and Abusive Guardianships (BenBella Books 2023) is about “Vince Geisler. I am not going to read it verbatim but hope to give you a good sense of what happened to Vince. He was a field technician for a Vancouver wireless communications company, and he and the human resources director never got along. Vince was laid off by HR over the phone. After, Geisler did some welding and then went to a neighborhood shopping mall for lunch. In the meantime, police had determined that Geisler, a hunter, owned guns. When he didn’t answer the door at his home, they assumed he had barricaded himself inside. But that wouldn’t be the only misinterpretation that victimized Geisler.
When Geisler exited the mall he saw a van and police officers with guns drawn. Rob writes “According to police records, the street had been cordoned off by about ten officers, including an emergency tactical team with assault rifles and a sniper. They called Geisler out. He walked over, perplexed. Geisler was “calm and cooperative,” stated police records. Police told Geisler that he was being arrested under mental health laws, slapped handcuffs on him, and loaded him into the van.” Geisler was dumbfounded and asked to speak with a lawyer. He would ask several more times to do so to no avail.
At the hospital, a psychiatrist asked Geisler how he was feeling. He said he was a little stressed out because he had just been laid off and then basically kidnapped, brought to the hospital, and denied a lawyer. He was told that, quote “the human resources director had called the police, alleging that Geisler had said to her, ‘I may as well walk off, put a gun in my mouth, and blow my brains out.’ By his recollection, Geisler believed he said, ‘I feel like I’ve been shot.’ His wife told me Geisler sometimes used dramatic language when upset.” Geisler was asked if he had been feeling excessively under stress. Geisler denied that and said he didn’t understand why the police had arrested him. To which the psychiatrist noted in his file that Geisler “appeared “limited” in his “insight” about police concerns and perhaps “not totally truthful” about his stress level.” When asked what meds he was on, Geisler listed a couple but forgot to mention his antidepressant used to help with his ADHD. The psychiatrist clearly didn’t believe him as he wrote, “It certainly would appear from his prescription of an antidepressant that he has been on for some time that he has been depressed and which he has denied. Given his lack of honesty and forth- rightness, for his safety he is being detained.” Detained?
Geisler was locked in seclusion and ordered to change into a hospital gown. His wife was not allowed to see him. A lawyer never came. His psychiatric record was stamped “incapable of appreciating the nature of treatment and his need for it.” Isolated from the people in his life, Geisler expressed outrage at being detained and continued to ask for a lawyer. He never saw one. Instead security guards with a nurse demanded he take medication which put him to sleep for sixteen hours. He had been given four different antipsychotics and a sedative.
The next morning a second psychiatrist saw him and noted that Geisler was neither suicidal or homicidal and that he had no evidence of having a serious mental disorder. Geisler was discharged but couldn’t shake the feeling of being mentally raped noting that cattle have more rights being transported to the slaughterhouse than a people do under BC’s Mental Health Act.
Think this doesn’t happen often? Rob Wipond is here to tell us how often this can occur to just about any one of us.
Rob talks with Bernadine about the fallible nature of diagnoses, psychiatric medications, and treatment along with the inherent problems that occur in the mental health industry that leave psychiatric survivors victimized and trapped for a long time.