"False Medical Records for the Mentally Ill
In most Federal and State venues, falsifying medical records is a felony. Nurses have lost their jobs for sins as small as post-dating a medication record, even if the medication, dosage and medication time written down were correct. But here in Oklahoma, the State Attorney General’s Office claims the actions of State employees in State mental facilities and courts are covered by “absolute immunity”.
Take for example the Tulsa Center for Behavioral Health (TCBH) and the Tulsa City and County Mental Health Court. In a Mental Health Court document, a Request for Pre-Hearing Detention, filed Aug 05 2010 in case MH-2010-0404, Dr. Lori C. Miller of TCBH swears under the oath of perjury that, “I am familiar with the Respondent’s condition, conduct and actions”, to justify an opinion that the Respondent was too dangerous to remain free.
That was a lie. Prior to Aug 3, 2010, Dr. Miller had never met that person. She gave no indication of having interviewed his family, friends, neighbors, or even received medical records covering the previous nearly seven years from his physicians and psychiatrists at O.U. Physicians. Later, in order to get more of his normal medications (not all), that person had to insist that his medical records be transferred from O.U. Family Medicine.
In a Mental Health Evaluation, filed that same day with the Mental Health Court, Dr. Miller and LPC Julie King depict that person’s statements about abiding by the Oklahoma Castle Doctrine in the case of a home invasion, and hearsay about unsworn accusations, as “threatening statements”, “threats to hurt others” and “unable to state that he would not harm anyone” with a firearm. Miller and King claimed, “unable to care for himself”.
Despite never having inspected his living conditions, his disability income, his OK Dept of Rehabilitative Services Ticket to Work Program, his balanced checkbook, his paid bills, his regularly laundered underwear, or his well-used toothbrush. Apparently on the basis of mere appearances on some very bad days, when that person had been suffering from a painful bad tooth, repeatedly dehydrated working in the worst heat of the year to get his possessions out of his apartment ahead of a threatened eviction, dressed in his grubbies to go work in the dirt and heat, handcuffed in front of his friends and neighbors, and deprived at TCBH of a hair tie, which made his nightly washed and very dry hair look wild. There is such a thing as shock and anger at outrageous treatment.
Miller checked off the part of the form stating that “Reasonable efforts have been made to provide for the mental health … needs of the person through the provision of less restrictive alternatives, and the alternatives have failed to meet the treatment needs of the person”. Yet, she made no reference to ongoing medication management with the O.U. Psychiatric Clinic, as required by OS §43A-5-417. Nor made any offer to simply help that person get his possessions out of his old apartment and into his new one, which would have ended a bad situation.
Indeed, OS §43A-5-415.E.1 states: “The court shall not order hospitalization without a thorough consideration of available treatment alternatives to hospitalization and may direct the submission of evidence as to the least restrictive treatment alternative or may order a mental health examination.” Thus the Court depends upon those who have the information to submit it, and typically relies upon the State facility. For it seems to have no judgment of its own.
In the “Petition for Mental Health Treatment and Application for Release of Confidential Records”, filed with the Court on Aug 05 2010, Dr. Miller took out of all context and intent a statement badgered out of that person by a TCBH Licensed Professional Counselor King to the effect that he had not decided on his ultimate course of action regarding his accusers (like this blog), and transformed it into “that he has not yet decided his plan of violence against the apartment staff, ‘I haven’t decided yet’”. The only “witnesses to the alleged facts” whom she cites come only from COPES and TCBH.
In the Court document filed Aug 06 2010, “Order Setting Hearing and Directing Pre-Hearing Detention; and Order Releasing Confidential Records”, Mental Health Court Judge Theresa Dreiling claims, among other things:
“WHEREAS, it has been made to appear by clear and convincing evidence that there is probable cause to detain said Respondent until a hearing on said Petition and”
And “WHEREAS, it appears further that the” (medical) “information sought is not available elsewhere and can only be obtained from the detaining and/or treating facility” (TCBH) “or the Department of Mental Health and Substance Services (sic)”
Note that most of these documents are fill-in-the-blanks forms, indicating that the State treats people with mental illnesses like this as a matter of course.
This is how the previous seven years of non-violent behavior, regular contact with physical and psychiatric doctors, and responsible adherence to taking medication can be made by State doctors and mental health courts to disappear, in order to obtain captive patients. Nor did TCBH and O.U. Physicians allow that person to consult with or get a second opinion from his regular Psychiatrists at O.U.. Which in this case I believe is a violation of OS §59-637.A.2.b, which gives “using intimidation, coercion or deception to obtain or retain a patient or discourage the use of a second opinion or consultation,” as reason to suspend the license of an Osteopath.
Oklahoma claims that perjury is a felony. For anyone else, that is. But the State’s Attorney (and a local Federal Judge) indicates that it is just peachy keen dandy for State employees to construct false medical documents in the cases of people with mental illnesses. The State’s Attorney demands “absolute immunity” for doing things the same old way. And State Boards of Examination are loath to “interfere”. Never mind that this may well be violations of multiple Federal laws, such as Title II of the ADA, HIPAA, 18 U.S.C. § 241, 18 U.S.C. § 242, 42 USC § 1320a–7b, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and 31 U.S.C. § 3729-3733.
But can we expect the U.S. Attorney to enforce those laws for people with mental illnesses? My, that is a good question. It would depend upon whether or not he’s a bigot. "