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I don't normally get involved in comment rating discussions, but in this case I would ask that Poemless do a bit of investigation into the history of the treatment of mental illness in the U.S.

The number of people institutionalized decreased constantly after the Second World War, partly due to the work of patient advocates and partly because government cheapskates saw it as a way to save money. Reagan was one of the latter, but it is simplistic to think that he was a jerk who hated crazy people. This issue has been discussed in the legal system at great length, and at this point it is extremely difficult to put someone in an institution without their permission.

In L.C. v. Olmstead, 527 U.S. 581 (1999), the United States Supreme Court ruled that placing in institutional facilities individuals with disabilities who are capable of living in community settings constitutes a form of discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 42 U.S.C. § 12132. In so ruling, the Court gave great power to the "integration mandate" found in Title II of the ADA that applies to state entities. It requires that public entities administer programs, "in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities." 28 CFR § 35.130. The Court also recognized Congress's intent to set forth a "comprehensive view of the concept of discrimination" in the ADA that does not require a demonstration that people with disabilities were treated differently than a comparison class of individuals with no disabilities. Olmstead, 527 U.S. 581, 598. In this case, segregation of persons with disabilities in institutions (and the consequences of that segregation) was viewed as inherently discriminatory.

by asdf on Sat Oct 28th, 2006 at 01:23:44 AM EST
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