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Reply #14: Satire, yes, but the REAL ONE IS Bush's "New Freedom Initiative" [View All]

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cyberpj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 03:22 PM
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14. Satire, yes, but the REAL ONE IS Bush's "New Freedom Initiative"
Remember this from last summmer? Haven't heard much about it lately --maybe the satire is to prepare us for this again:

Bush plans to screen whole US population for mental illness
Jeanne Lenzer
New York

A sweeping mental health initiative will be unveiled by President George W Bush in July. The plan promises to integrate mentally ill patients fully into the community by providing "services in the community, rather than institutions," according to a March 2004 progress report entitled New Freedom Initiative

( ).

While some praise the plan's goals, others say it protects the profits of drug companies at the expense of the public.

Some choice excerpts:

Structures to put the scheme in place have been developed under a so-called "Federal Action Agenda," announced in Washington on Jun. 9, and include mandatory mental health screening, which the plan recommends be linked with "treatment and supports".

The plan's full details have yet to emerge as the Action Agenda still "has not been publicly released," according to A Kathryn Power, director of the Centre for Mental Health Services (CMHS), the Bush administration body spearheading the effort.


Under 'New Freedom', mental health screening of adult Americans is slated to occur during routine physical exams while that of young people will occur in the school system. Pre-school children will receive periodic "development screens."


On Sep. 13, U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, a medical doctor, denounced the Bush plan for its "forced mental health screening for every child in America," pointedly writing in a weekly column on his website, the "obvious beneficiary of the proposal is the pharmaceutical industry."

According to Paul, who had introduced an amendment to eliminate funding for the plan, "Soviet communists attempted to paint all opposition to the state as mental illness."

Read also warns that the New Freedom plan "conjures up the image of 'state control' of private lives, extending to an individual's feelings ... the increasing medicalisation of life problems and the massive increase in the prescriptions of all types of psychiatric drugs is 'social control'."
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