Thursday, 7 January 2010

Open Letter to Governor Gregoire, Washington State, USA

Dear Governor Gregoire,

I have been following the story of Lindsay [redacted] and her Mum, Stephany, on the latter's blog, for about two years, now. Frankly, I'm disheartened, and I really hope that you may be encouraged to look into this matter:

Top 100 state workers - one psychiatrist at Western State Hospital

I will state my position baldly, now: I don't believe that Lindsay has anything wrong with her, although I realize that I risk derision in saying so. I think the initial diagnosis, four-five years ago was incorrect, and I think that the way Lindsay has been treated, ever since, has made it inevitable that she is non-verbal, now.

Now, given that she is non-verbal, can it really make the tiniest scintilla of sense to ban her advocate from meetings? Given that she is not a prisoner, but a patient, and given that being forbidden outside time makes her anxious (explicitly so), why is Lindsay being held indoors? If "fresh air time" is being used as a tool of control, to gain compliance, then Dr Ruiz should have his credentials examined, to my view.

I will say, again: Lindsay is not a prisoner. According to the court that committed her to WSH, she is there for her own protection, because she is at risk of exploitation from society. I don't imagine that the court thought that WSH would seek to exploit her, too.

Dr Ruiz's coercive methods are counterproductive, in my view - he cannot hope to build the necessary trust that would enable him to treat patients. He's certainly no empath.

In summation, I think that this state of affairs is a travesty. Why is Washington State punishing this young woman for being vulnerable, because that is what this seems to amount to? I would urge you to investigate the treatment of patients at WSH, with all urgency, because Lindsay is one of the lucky ones: she's got people who care about her. All over the world.

Best regards

Matthew Holford


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Stephany said...

Thank you, Matt.

Ana said...

This is great Matt!

Radagast said...

What for? ;)

Barbara said...

I read your letter on Stephany's comment page, and it brought me to your page. It's a very well written letter.

Radagast said...

A quick apology to anybody who's left comments, which haven't been published straightaway, of late (apart from any trolls, of course - they know full well why their comments aren't getting published: it's because they're full of shit).

Thing is, for some reason, very few comments are being copied through to my email address, for approval, so those that aren't are getting approved sporadically, as and when I remember to check comments, on Blogger.