Canadians with history of mental illness denied US entry at airports

Nasrudin

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I don't know the specifics of these incidences you cite and it is clearly disturbing. But it seems like a state security apparatus problem. I don't think our health care information protection laws protects foreign citizens. Interesting legal question. Although clearly homeland security and the NSA are not beholden to laws or even the spirit of the constituion for that matter--at least at present course. Nor would I think psychiatry as a field could do much outside of mass movements to curb them.

The fact that psychiatry is by nature imbedded in forensic process by its evaluations of individual capacity does not engage it with responsibility for the activities of our state security apparatus, except by the conscience of its individuals in a way not unlike all other individuals.
 
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They can't stop someone based on a medical reason on their own. One of the articles about this said the Canadians could opt for an involuntary psych evaluation conducted by a 'homeland security approved' psychiatrist. The more I think of it the more and more terrifying the thought of a DHS approved psych becomes...

Yes it is true that it is the government at the core of the abuse. However, psychiatry is a necessary tool for them to dole out their bouts of bullying.
 
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Nasrudin

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They can't stop someone based on a medical reason. One of the articles about this said the Canadians could opt for an involuntary psych evaluation conducted by a 'homeland security approved' psychiatrist. The thought of that makes me cringe.

Yes it is true that it is the government at the core of the abuse. However, psychiatry is a necessary tool for them to dole out their bouts of bullying.
Not really. The information is through the criminal justice system and police reporting. A psychiatrist is not necessarily involved unless the person being prevented from entering wants to clear themselves for entry. That is not a position I would like to be in. But it is part and parcel of being a psychiatrist in a broader sense.

There will always be the tension between individual self-determination and paternalism in psychiatric care. A simple case of delirium has all those ethical complications from go. All of the public hysteria about preventing notorious violence involves pressure to violate individual rights and psychiatry in conjunction with our legal system seems to have resisted this to a large extent. Largely because of people's instincts against bullying and paternalism.

Somebody gets released or does something unpredictably bad and people want to know what happened in the breakdown of psychiatric care. Somebody gets committed against their will and people want to know what kind of totalitarian system could do such a thing. Psychiatry can be an instrument of either public impulse. It is precarious. But it is also why questions of individual sovereignty are solved by the judicial system. Psychiatrists are, most properly, agencies therein. How could it be otherwise?
 

whopper

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It's not like those Canadians can claim their constitutional rights were violated being that they aren't American citizens. They are not represented by a strong lobby here so politicians will likely not take much issue with this. In terms of foreign affairs, the Canadians and the US are not likely making this issue a priority.

The only thing I can think of that the profession can do (and us) is write to our APA leadership about this issue, but this is an area, that as mentioned above, is not really within our control and I bet our APA leaders aren't concerned about this issue much. Not because it's not important but because they're likely digging their hooks into issues they find more pressing. Some attention could be brought to this by alerting the arm of the APA that writes their newspaper.

A better organization that may better deal with this it the Canadian Psychiatric Association.
 
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Maybe they could set up telepsych stations via skype instead? It would cost less and reduce conflicts of interests. But APA are no fools, doing nothing about this is equivalent to supporting it. They know the DHS picks and chooses who won't get on the plane beforehand, their "approved" psychiatrist sole purpose is to simply finish the deed with full loyalty to the will of the officials.

But it's only a few people so lets just brush it off there are bigger problems to address after all.... and before you know it the problem will balloon out of control until this abuse becomes widespread, unmanageable and rampant.
 

Nasrudin

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Maybe they could set up telepsych stations via skype instead? It would cost less and reduce conflicts of interests. But APA are no fools, doing nothing about this is equivalent to supporting it. They know the DHS picks and chooses who won't get on the plane beforehand, their "approved" psychiatrist sole purpose is to simply finish the deed with full loyalty to the will of the officials.

But it's only a few people so lets just brush it off there are bigger problems to address after all.... and before you know it the problem will balloon out of control until this abuse becomes widespread, unmanageable and rampant.
So you're saying the APA is deliberately collaborating, even if just via absentia, with covert national security interests in order to be able to secure a juggernaut on the psychiatric labor market for federal positions that will grow under a burgeoning of border screening activity. And that furthermore, they are aware that things could be done more fairly and openly and anticipate that, but will craftily bow out of the public attempt to draw attention to this issue so as to not compromise its designs at obtaining these contracts for its members.

What would cause you to derive these conclusions?

Canada keeps itself squeaky clean from any of our travelers for the most minor of offenses that might even be hanging around accidentally in our criminal records. Are Canadian lawyers and their political bodies implicitly involved in conspiracy?
 
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Armadillos

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I didn't read this super carefully, but from the sound of it seems like more of a police problem than a psychiatric problem, seems like the heart of the issue is that police were recording visits made to houses as "first responders" to a psychiatric (medical) emergency in the same manner as visits made for criminal reasons. If the police kept their records differently/more carefully then this would be a non-issue.
 

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I didn't read this super carefully, but from the sound of it seems like more of a police problem than a psychiatric problem, seems like the heart of the issue is that police were recording visits made to houses as "first responders" to a psychiatric (medical) emergency in the same manner as visits made for criminal reasons. If the police kept their records differently/more carefully then this would be a non-issue.
What's different about anytime our police officers respond to a call. They document it. Imagine if they didn't. And the lady in the article kills herself. And then everybody wants to know what happened. If you attempt a suicide that gets a 911 call or intersects you with health care or if you cause a public disturbance while psychotic it will be documented by police or medical personnel. What is the surprise in that?
 
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Canada keeps itself squeaky clean from any of our travelers for the most minor of offenses that might even be hanging around accidentally in our criminal records. Are Canadian lawyers and their political bodies implicitly involved in conspiracy?
Not sure why Canadians are so vindicative, but just because they are doesn't mean we should be. I don't get why all my liberal friends on facebook are always posting how Canada is so much better us. If they were so liberal they wouldn't be such assholes at the border.
 

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this isn't about canada, this is about US policy. it is americans stopping canadians gaining entry not the other way round. and this applies to anyone from anywhere. one of the questions asked at immigration is do you have a mental illness. it is a reason to deny people entry into the US and has been the case forever. Regardless of the country of origin. It was only recently that you HIV+ people were allowed to travel to the US. They also ask you if you were a member of the Nazi Party from 1933-1945 (its okay if it wasn't during those days), whether you're a terrorist, or whether you intend to commit acts of moral turpitude.

but yes this outrageous.
 

Nasrudin

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this isn't about canada, this is about US policy. it is americans stopping canadians gaining entry not the other way round. and this applies to anyone from anywhere. one of the questions asked at immigration is do you have a mental illness. it is a reason to deny people entry into the US and has been the case forever. Regardless of the country of origin. It was only recently that you HIV+ people were allowed to travel to the US. They also ask you if you were a member of the Nazi Party from 1933-1945 (its okay if it wasn't during those days), whether you're a terrorist, or whether you intend to commit acts of moral turpitude.

but yes this outrageous.
Right. As is any number of things. We now have a precedence for assassinating our own citizens by violating the sovereignty of foreign nations with sky-roving robots. I can see charging us and our political bodies with neglecting our advocacy responsibilities. But collusion and conspiracy and myopic perspective on barring some dozens of depressed, suicidal Canadians from crossing the border making even on the top 10 of our national grievances is patently ridiculous.
 
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I have traveled outside the country many times and have never been asked if I have a mental illness. For a visa yes, but not for a layover. The most recent instance of this that made the news was a lady on her way to Mexico on a layover in the US.
 
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Right. As is any number of things. We now have a precedence for assassinating our own citizens by violating the sovereignty of foreign nations with sky-roving robots. I can see charging us and our political bodies with neglecting our advocacy responsibilities. But collusion and conspiracy and myopic perspective on barring some dozens of depressed, suicidal Canadians from crossing the border making even on the top 10 of our national grievances is patently ridiculous.
that's just what we know about. This sort of stuff doesn't always make it out in the news, people understandably don't particularly like to make public their problems with psychiatry. It opens them up to humiliation, stigmatization and vulnerability.

Remember the Nazi's never did think they were sterilizing the mentally ill. Their defense to accusations of sterilization was always 'give me an example give me just one example!' Or 'this is an isolated incident, this sterilization was wrong but it's one instance of injustice it never happens on the scale that is claimed, it's isolated'. Lo and behold hundreds of thousands of mental patients were systematically sterilized in the war.

So don't auto believe everything and make claims like 'only a dozen' are effected, when in reality the abuse could be rampant and we just don't know about it.
 

Nasrudin

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that's just what we know about. This sort of stuff doesn't always make it out in the news, people understandably don't particularly like to make public their problems with psychiatry. It opens them up to humiliation, stigmatization and vulnerability.

Remember the Nazi's never did think they were sterilizing the mentally ill. Their defense to accusations of sterilization was always 'give me an example give me just one example!' Or 'this is an isolated incident, this sterilization was wrong but it's one instance of injustice it never happens on the scale that is claimed, it's isolated'. Lo and behold hundreds of thousands of mental patients were systematically sterilized in the war.

So don't auto believe everything and make claims like 'only a dozen' are effected, when in reality the abuse could be rampant and we just don't know about it.
No. What I'm not auto-accepting is your conspiratorial nonsense. It's a good ethical point about national policy towards the mentally ill. Not the obvious indictment of psychiatry you were so desperately and oddly hoping for as demonstrated by a reductionist 3rd reich argument that I recall you making before. You need some fresh metaphorical material. Exterminating people and performing surgery on them against their will is not the ethical equivalent of asking people about their mental health status and barring travel into another country. It's unethical itself to make such intentionally sloppy mis-associations.
 
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No. What I'm not auto-accepting is your conspiratorial nonsense. It's a good ethical point about national policy towards the mentally ill. Not the obvious indictment of psychiatry you were so desperately and oddly hoping for.
And who is the authority on mental illness? Psychiatry, period. You can, and correctly so, blame bad national policy towards the mentally ill for this. But in practice as a matter of practicality you needs psychs to carry out the deeds.

Like I said, go ahead with the evals but no DHS approved doctors. Only 3rd party docs to rule out conflicts of interest. Otherwise they'll just pick out folks who share their massive delusions of being under constant threat.
 

Nasrudin

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And who is the authority on mental illness? Psychiatry, period. You can, and correctly so, blame bad national policy towards the mentally ill for this. But in practice as a matter of practicality you needs psychs to carry out the deeds.

Like I said, go ahead with the evals but no DHS approved doctors. Only 3rd party docs to rule out conflicts of interest. Otherwise they'll just pick out folks who share their massive delusions of being under constant threat.
Properly and well stated. As such, I agree.
 

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What's different about anytime our police officers respond to a call. They document it. Imagine if they didn't. And the lady in the article kills herself. And then everybody wants to know what happened. If you attempt a suicide that gets a 911 call or intersects you with health care or if you cause a public disturbance while psychotic it will be documented by police or medical personnel. What is the surprise in that?
I might have misread the article, but I thought the whole issue raised in the first couple paragraphs was that these people had some sort of generic "police incident" flagging on their record that could have been anything. Sounded to me if the records were kept differently and instead police recorded these mental health emergency calls as a "medical emergency first response" or something then there would not be confusion
 

Armadillos

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Also do we even know what they actually mean by "approved doctor"? For all we know it may just mean they had to be a psychiatrist who trained in USA/Canada and not some other country. (I have no idea if this is the case, but hard to get too riled up till you know exactly what getting "approved" means)
 

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But APA are no fools, doing nothing about this is equivalent to supporting it.
No. Play some Risk, the boardgame. You do not involve yourself in a two front war. In politics, you spend your energy on the more important issues. This is an issue that doesn't affect American citizens, however wrong it is, and considering the other issues such as the Affordable Care Act, mental health parity, shortage of psychiatrists, etc., this issue is not a priority IMHO for them.

I've never worked for the APA on a national level but have on a state-wide level. This is not something they'd likely put much attention towards nor does it even represent their constituency. This is more for the Canadian PA than our own. There are plenty of issues at each monthly meeting. They have to prioritize what are the battles worth fighting.

And this is more of a police/government issue. All the time in PES we see the police do the wrong thing, not so much because they intentionally are doing so but because they don't understand the mental health system. That happens everyday in almost every hospital with a PES to Americans.

As for foreign relations, I also don't think the governments will get involved here much either. Think about it. Think about the number of Americans being held in North Korea unjustifiably that America can't get out. You think they're going to worry about people that aren't even Americans? That's Canada's responsibility they'll likely think.

I'm not trying to make it out that what happened wasn't wrong, it was, but this is like someone going to a McDonald's, getting bad service, then going to to the pizza place and complaining at them to do something. It's not their responsibility.

If I were one of those Canadians being discriminated against, I'd call every single news agency in the US, the Canadian PA, and write letters to several people in the US and Canada such as the American embassy in Canada. A call to action on our parts? (Meaning the people here?) I got people discriminated against all the time that I work with and they are more immediate and more worthy of my attention. What I can do is contact the APA, and the politicians representing me all the way to the President, and as you likely know that'll not likely amount to anything.

It's not the psychiatrists blocking people as far as I can tell in this regard. It's the government doing so. The best the APA could likely do is tell the government to stop it in a very nice manner.
 
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Also do we even know what they actually mean by "approved doctor"? For all we know it may just mean they had to be a psychiatrist who trained in USA/Canada and not some other country. (I have no idea if this is the case, but hard to get too riled up till you know exactly what getting "approved" means)
"At the time, Richardson was told she could only enter the U.S. if a doctor — not her own doctor, but one from a short list of others whom she had never met — signed a document vouching for her. She would also have to pay a fee of $500. "

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/canadian-woman-refused-u-s-entry-because-of-depression-1.2444960
 

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"At the time, Richardson was told she could only enter the U.S. if a doctor — not her own doctor, but one from a short list of others whom she had never met — signed a document vouching for her. She would also have to pay a fee of $500. "

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/canadian-woman-refused-u-s-entry-because-of-depression-1.2444960
Its just not specific what it takes to get on that list, it may just be that the doctor has to have been trained in America.

It's just hard for me to get too riled up about this because it involves foreign citizens crossing borders, people get denied entry to countries all the time for tons of random things. I had some road tripping friends get denied entry to Canada because they told the border guards that they were musicians and were going to play at bars and sleep on the couches of people they meet.
 

Armadillos

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(That's not to say I think it's OK, but just that the mental health community in the USA has fairly limited political capital and I think it's better spent on other issues)
 
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Its just not specific what it takes to get on that list, it may just be that the doctor has to have been trained in America.

It's just hard for me to get too riled up about this because it involves foreign citizens crossing borders, people get denied entry to countries all the time for tons of random things. I had some road tripping friends get denied entry to Canada because they told the border guards that they were musicians and were going to play at bars and sleep on the couches of people they meet.
I would reckon the main criteria to get on that list is you have to be a grade A moron.

It is hard to be sympathetic to them considering how oppressive they are to Americans at their own border.
 
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hamstergang

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Like I said, go ahead with the evals but no DHS approved doctors. Only 3rd party docs to rule out conflicts of interest. Otherwise they'll just pick out folks who share their massive delusions of being under constant threat.
But in the article you started this thread from, didn't the woman get to enter the country based on the eval by the psychiatrist? Doesn't sound like that doctor shared the DHS's fears.

Also, you should probably lay off the conspiracy theories because they just really don't happen like you think they do. There's no conspiracy here and there's no conspiracy with 9/11 (http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/uq-ochsner-2014.1019329/page-5#post-14643152 )
 
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But in the article you started this thread from, didn't the woman get to enter the country based on the eval by the psychiatrist? Doesn't sound like that doctor shared the DHS's fears.

Also, you should probably lay off the conspiracy theories because they just really don't happen like you think they do. There's no conspiracy here and there's no conspiracy with 9/11 (http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/uq-ochsner-2014.1019329/page-5#post-14643152 )
I never said it was a conspiracy I said it was bullying. Yea she got on the plane eventually, 4 days later after submitting her sensitive and what is supposed to be private medical history to a foreign government and paying for an evaluation.

But lets just keep rationalizing the unacceptable abuse instead of standing up against it. "Oh what's the problem he let her through?!" Yea after 4 days of bullying, invasion of privacy and harassment.

She paid to go relax on a cruise, she didn't sign up for the Spanish Inquisition
 
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Nasrudin

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I never said it was a conspiracy I said it was bullying. Yea she got on the plane eventually, 4 days later after submitting her sensitive and what is supposed to be private medical history to a foreign government and paying for an evaluation.

But lets just keep rationalizing the unacceptable abuse instead of standing up against it. "Oh what's the problem he let her through?!" Yea after 4 days of bullying, invasion of privacy and harassment.

She paid to go relax on a cruise, she didn't sign up for the Spanish Inquisition
You bloody well did actually. Which polluted your ethical point with a bullying ideology of your own. The APA = national socialism routine. The psychiatrists seem like public defenders in this scenario. Not the architects of Orwellian policy.

Also if you are going to be at risk for engaging expensive public resources for your personal use, the case for making sure that possibility is not eminent is not without merit.
 
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Also if you are going to be at risk for engaging expensive public resources for your personal use, the case for making sure that possibility is not eminent is not without merit.
Elaborate please, this sentence doesn't make any sense. Not sure what you're trying to say here.
 

Nasrudin

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Well if it's in your criminal records that your reckless and unlawful behavior incurs the response of police, EMS, and hospital services then a case can be made that evaluation for future potential for this behavior be contingent upon traveling into a country not your own. Even if on balance your ethical argument is superior, I recommend considering other possibilities before gallivanting off on the masturbatory adventures of conspiracy hunting.
 
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ferning

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We need a freedom of movement or whatever its called in the EU.

the amount of money spent on these overzealous security efforts, within US travel and to outside countries, as well as the fear mongering it incites and those consequences far outweighs any good they do. How many real security threats they stop has to be so nominal, if ever

A bankrupt country with a population at an increased anxiety level because they have to take off their shoes, "show their papers", and get a full body scan to take a plane to the next state is ridiculous
 

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We need a freedom of movement or whatever its called in the EU.

the amount of money spent on these overzealous security efforts, within US travel and to outside countries, as well as the fear mongering it incites and those consequences far outweighs any good they do. How many real security threats they stop has to be so nominal, if ever

A bankrupt country with a population at an increased anxiety level because they have to take off their shoes, "show their papers", and get a full body scan to take a plane to the next state is ridiculous
If we complain, the Terrorists win.
You're complaining.
Therefore, you want the Terrorists to win.
Therefore, it follows that YOU must be a Terrorist!
 
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Well if it's in your criminal records that your reckless and unlawful behavior incurs the response of police, EMS, and hospital services then a case can be made that evaluation for future potential for this behavior be contingent upon traveling into a country not your own. Even if on balance your ethical argument is superior, I recommend considering other possibilities before gallivanting off on the masturbatory adventures of conspiracy hunting.

In this country our constitution protects us from double jeopardy. We can only be punished once for the same crime.

Also, predicting the future is impossible.
 
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ferning

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It shows how serioulsy indoctrinated we are when people get so hostile at people being critical of the practices of fidicuary institutions, that shouldn't act in a manner that has adverse effects on its population

It is the one thing they are not supposed to do and negates their ability to claim themselves as an authority or exist

Keeping people scared of each other prevents them from forming the overall cooperative societies that is in their nature.

But as it is, narcissistic people can exert power over others, Make money on the labor and lives of others.

We are so socially isolated in every way, especially economically, that people do this without bad intentions though
 
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^ Combine a growing public indignation towards the mentally ill due to a few isolated but atrocious crimes with a systematic cash flow from worthless evaluations and you have a recipe for discrimination.
 
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Nasrudin

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Well, most of our terrorism is home grown so I don't think that's the only function of border security. Do we want lower level gang lords freely crossing the border to conduct business. No....so we have access to each other's criminal records. Suicide attempt is predictive of future attempt. It seems worthwhile to know if intoxication and use of a firearm was involved. I'm sure there's research that would indicate what, if anything would be useful to know in a criminal record.

I think a criminal record is a criminal record, however, whether mental health is the cause or not. As such, law enforcement has a right to do its job. Your privacy ends where your actions intersect the public domain. If that policy is unacceptable then it's a civil rights vs law enforcement issue not a medical psychiatric care issue. Except what we feel is right to do from an advocacy standpoint.

I don't know whether or not a psychiatric eval would produce anything of value in these situations or not. But I'd have to see if there was evidence for it. But I agree with the conspiracy theorists insofar as the burden of proof should be on the person who wants to subject others to the scrutiny.
 

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I didnt even read the news article and assumed it was someone with mental illness and a history of violence TOWARDS OTHERS

This is ridiculous, suicide is like the number 8th cause of death amongst our citizens and clearly the most preventable cause of mortality that nominal attention is given by "our" media amd the government. Who has plentiful tax revenue spent towards other causes of mortality that has far less incidence and ones like cancer that do not have a cure, but has plenty of commercial potential.

A top 10 cause of death and grossly underscored as many are under the number 4 cause of death "accidents" to spare the emotions of families and because the poor soul wanted to provide for his family beyond the grave with insurance momey


The number of people that commit suicide due to economic constraints directly related to the mismanagement of national economic forces by our own government is the most preventable and attributable health risk that deserves the attention of these security forces

This is really gross that this happened to this poor woman
 
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It seems worthwhile to know if intoxication and use of a firearm was involved. I'm sure there's research that would indicate what, if anything would be useful to know in a criminal record.
It is against FAA regulations for passengers to carry loaded firearms on board an aircraft. Furthermore flight crew is required to refuse boarding a passenger who is clearly intoxicated.

I always thought this was enough.
 

Nasrudin

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Look. I'm not representing the TSA pro bono, take it up with them. I'm just saying that a case for not allowing a floridly psychotic or manic person that has unlawful conduct on their record leave there support system and burden another nation's resources is reasonable. If there is something in the criminal record to indicate a person may need to be cleared by a psychiatrist it doesn't strike me as a fascist conspiracy. It's more a criminological question. Forensic psychiatrists could weigh in here. Maybe it's a ridiculous notion. I don't think there could be viable reason for stopping a person with a history of self injury but I dont think a typical TSA agent would necessarily by able to make distinctions.

Personally as a citizen I'm not in favor of screening people for psychiatric problems. I'm also for ex-felons having the right to vote and own guns. But there is precedence for this type of thing. Your rights can be stripped if you are the carrier of multi-drug resistant TB and you have cough and the itch to travel. These are ethical arguments because they weigh conflicting interests. They're not the work of big pharm. or brother. Or big shady something.
 
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Well I agree with you about being more lax on felons. Particularly if they've changed their ways. I even support organ transplants for them in appropriate cases. Like if it was one time mistake, long ago, or some ridiculous federal offense like felony for moving a patch of dirt.

We'll have to agree to disagree on psych screenings at airports. Huge potential for misuse for no safety benefit.
 

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Reasons why I have been denied entry or scritinzed before being allowed entry into a country (mostly pertains to Canada, but not all):
-intoxicated person in the back of my car
-Korean passenger in my car with naturalization paperwork. At that time, would have been acceptable, but the papers were in Korean and could not be read by anyone at the boarder to verify authenticity or something
-No form of ID except library card and middle school ID (I was 13 and ID/passport were not required at that time and I clearly looked like my parents)
-Did not have exact change for "visa on arrival"
-possession of US military ID (i didn't realized we were not allowed to enter said country at that time)
-NYS car registration card was set to expire within a few weeks
-Could not state good reason at the border for wanting to enter country
-My driver's license looked like it had been tampered with...um...nevermind, that was to get into a bar when I was in college
-Bad case of pink eye (I did kinda look like a leper, but after questioning was allowed into country)

I lived just over the US-Canadian border. These reasons seem far less dangerous then having a "police record." Suicide attempt can (but not always) = impulsivity, poor judgement, severe mental illness, etc. Even illegal in some places.

Then there was the time I made it through security with a mag and 3 rounds in the bottom of my carry on, but somehow had my toenail clippers confiscated...
 

SuperSoccer19

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Very few places, and not in the US or Canada. Not that it really matters to the rest of your post.
This part of my comment was somewhat irrelevent, and this is also off topic from the original post...

UCMJ articles 80, 115, and 134 cover intentional self-injury, including suicide attempts. Although rarely brought to court martial (looks bad when this makes the news), it is still a crime for military members.

Most European countries, Canada, US states, Australia penal codes had suicide as a crime until at least the second half of the 20th century. It was no longer considered a felony in all US states until the early 1990s. Several eastern and middle eastern countries do still consider suicide or suicide attempts a crime, but I do not know how often its actually enforced or what the punishment is. I'd imagine its pretty difficult to charge or imprison a person who was successful.

I had reviewed this not too long ago for another reason and was a little surprised.
 

hamstergang

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This part of my comment was somewhat irrelevent, and this is also off topic from the original post...
Completely agree, but I'm a curious guy so:

Several eastern and middle eastern countries do still consider suicide or suicide attempts a crime
Where are you getting that info from? I was basing my knowledge off of wiki (I know, I know):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_legislation
"By the early 1990s only two states still listed suicide as a crime, and these have since removed that classification.[citation needed] In some U.S. states, suicide is still considered an unwritten "common law crime," as stated in Blackstone's Commentaries. (So held the Virginia Supreme Court in 1992. Wackwitz v. Roy, 418 S.E.2d 861 (Va. 1992))."

Of course, it seems my info has the "citation needed" flag on it, so who knows if it's true or not. And I don't really understand common law crime as I just heard of it right now and need to go. I had read this article a year ago and don't think that part was there then.
 

SuperSoccer19

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Sometime within the last few years I actually looked at the state laws, as I thought about doing a Grand Rounds on a topic where I would have wanted this information. I don't have access to a Law library where I am at currently and have no idea what a "common law crime" is and I cannot remember if I came across that before. I was surprised by how late these laws were repealed. I believe a few countries like Japan and India or Pakistan still looked at this as a crime. It was a few years ago that I last looked at this.

I have practiced psychiatry in Japan and had a patient claim she was arrested after a suicide attempt. She was ligitimately arrested and had newly sutured laceration on her wrist, but I never read the police report and do not always trust everything a borderline says. In addition, when I was in Laos the tour guide and I somehow got talking about this and he had mentioned a case of someone being brought to jail for this too. Can't remember the circumstances. I know this is level 5 evidence, but consistent with what I came across previously.

I am currently in Afghanistan where suicide is actually condoned and celebrated, especially when they injure NATO troops in the process (ie suicide bomber). They believe that you will be presented with 40 virgins in the afterlife. Pretty sure its not a crime here, but they will shoot you simply because they don't like you, so I wonder if mental illness leads to these mercy killings, but I have no idea.
 
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I am currently in Afghanistan where suicide is actually condoned and celebrated, especially when they injure NATO troops in the process (ie suicide bomber). They believe that you will be presented with 40 virgins in the afterlife. Pretty sure its not a crime here, but they will shoot you simply because they don't like you, so I wonder if mental illness leads to these mercy killings, but I have no idea.
I think there are two factors that could rule out mental illness in the killing of innocents in wartime. A soldier may be 1) brainwashed AND/OR 2) following an order that he is not free to disobey.
 
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SuperSoccer19

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I think there are two factors that could rule out mental illness in the killing of innocents in wartime. A soldier may be 1) brainwashed AND/OR 2) following an order that he is not free to disobey.
I worded that weird. I meant, I wonder if those with mental illness are the victim of mercy killings--not that those mentally ill are doing the killing.