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State assumes mentally ill will accept treatment

A RECENT article on the opinion page demonstrates, perhaps without knowing, what the real problem is facing mental health providers and patients in Massachusetts (“The crime of mental illness,” Op-ed, April 23). The article notes, “If proper treatment is provided and accepted . . .” What are mental health providers expected to do when proper treatment is offered and refused?

The Massachusetts mental health system is predicated upon the false premise that irrational people will make rational decisions, i.e. take their medicine and accept intervention. It should come as no surprise that irrational people often do not accept help when it is offered.

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In Massachusetts, it is legal to isolate patients in cells and strap them down, but illegal in most cases to force them to take medication that will help them. That doesn’t make sense.

Richard L. Davis

Plymouth

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