RECENTLY ON TOL:
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It is extremely important to keep in mind that those persons who have been hospitalized at the Oregon State Hospital have been court-committed, meaning that they have been determined to be a danger to self or others. Which means that to be at OSH means this person does not have the judgement to care for him/herself and/or may be a threat to others' safety. Despite that, this patient has the right to refuse medications and treatment, even though they may be responding to auditory and visual hallucinations, mistaking that another person may be trying to harm him because of extreme paranoia, or shoving pencils into their arm because of impulses to self-harm. My understanding is that only a judge can override the patient's refusal of medications and treatment. Although the efficacy of medications vary and the possibility of adverse s/e's exist with any medication, it is because of medications that physical measures to restrain persons from harming themselves or others can be the intervention of last resort. The issue of mandatory overtime is very much related to one staff-to-one patient and sometimes two staff-to-one patient because of patient safety issues, meaning the patient engages in either self-harming or very aggressive behaviors. It is those behaviors that have often resulted in the routine frequency of staff injuries because patients have attacked staff. Some of the forensic units may have up to 40 patients on one unit which also contributes to the frequency of 1:1 or 2:1 staffing because having that many people with such severe behavioral and mental issues on one unit is simply too many. In general society, there are expectations of behavior and consequences of not following those expectations. In contrast, at the state hospital, the "consequences" for not following expectations, e.g. reasonable civility to others can be pretty weak because of patient rights. As a tax payer, I wish that those patients who refuse treatment could be discharged to the streets, however that would create even greater problems in the community. Since that is impractical, there should be serious reconsideration about the rights of patients who are court-committed to the state hospital funded by my tax dollars.
posted 3 years, 1 month ago
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