Making Laura’s Law More User Friendly

Written by Judi Iranyi. Posted in Healthcare, Politics

Tagged: , , ,

Published on April 09, 2013 with 3 Comments

Laura's Law

By Judi Iranyi

April 9, 2013

State Senator Leland Yee has introduced Senate Bill 664 which, if passed, would remove a number of burdensome requirements in Laura’s Law, an assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) program passed by the California Legislature in 1999 and recently extended to December 31, 2017.

Leland Yee

Leland Yee

An AOT program allows court-ordered, intensive outpatient treatment for people with severe mental illnesses who refuse medication because their illness impairs their ability to make rational decisions.   Laura’s Law provides for a 180-day period of intensive treatment under the supervision of the court.  While we as a society must safeguard the civil rights of the unfortunate, we also have an obligation to care for those who are unable to care for themselves.  Laura’s Law provides safeguards to protect the civil rights of those being considered for the AOT program.

Currently AOT can only be used if a county’s board of supervisors enacts a resolution to implement and independently fund a discrete Laura’s Law program.  SB 664 eliminates this requirement.  SB 664 would give the county Department of Public Health complete discretion over whether or not to initiate an AOT program.

SB 664 also authorizes a county to limit the number of persons to whom it provides AOT.  This would allow a county to provide AOT services only to the extent its resources permit.

Proposition 63 passed in 2004, established a one percent tax on personal income above $1 million to fund expanded health services for mentally ill children, adults, and seniors.  SB 664 makes clear that Proposition 63 funds can be used to support a Laura’s Law program.

Only Nevada County has implemented Laura’s Law, while Los Angeles County chose to implement a small AOT pilot project.  Perhaps with the passage of SB 664, the other 56 California counties will implement Laura’s Law.

I urge the passage of SB 664.

Judi Iranyi is a licensed clinical social worker, a Long Term Care Ombudsman, a former social services advocate for the Homeless Advocacy Project, and a former member of San Francisco’s Shelter Monitoring Committee.

Judi Iranyi

Judi Iranyi

Judi Iranyi was born in Hungary at the close of World War II. Later she emigrated to Venezuela, and also lived in Trinidad, Barbados, and West Germany before moving to San Francisco in 1971. Ms. Iranyi became interested in photography in the sixties. She studied photography and art at City College of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, U.C. Berkeley, and John F. Kennedy University. However, she worked as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker until her retirement. Now that she is retired, Ms. Iranyi is dedicating her time to her photography. She has been published and has had two solo exhibitions. Her book, “Bay Area Families” was one of the ten jury selection mentions in the exhibit “Cover to Cover” at San Francisco Camerawork (2013) and won Second Prize in Portraiture in the Professional Women Photographer’s 38th Anniversary International Women’s Competition (2014).

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  • Yolanda67

    Excellent. I hope Senator Yee will consider running for governor in the not too distant future.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Brookse32 Eric Brooks

    There is a very good reason that “Laura’s Law” has only been implemented in one tiny rural community that got freaked out by a tragic murder case. It is a bad law that rips personal civil liberties to shreds, in deep contradiction to the rights and freedoms guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.

    Where is this law really coming from?

    To answer that question I will simply repeat my previous comment:

    Laura’s Law is a dangerous, cynical tool of the pharmaceutical industry to expand the sales of its products, which are already booming because of maneuvers it has undertaken such as the forcing of millions of young school children onto mind and life destroying drugs like Ritalin to supposedly cure “ADHD”.

    The primary group lobbying for punitive police state laws like Laura’s law (which will indeed force innocent victims trapped in the criminal justice system, against their will, onto psychiatric pharmaceuticals) is an ‘organization’ called NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) which receives vast amounts of its funding, and other supports, from the pharmaceutical industry.

    To see a report on this relationship of NAMI with the drug industry go to: http://pharmamkting.blogspot.com/2010/04/namis-pharma-funders-serial-off-label.html

    To see a report on how the Big Pharma has similarly used faux ‘advocacy organization’ front groups like CHADD to trick tens of millions of people into taking destructive pharmaceuticals for the concocted disease “ADHD” go to: http://www.cchrint.org/psycho-pharmaceutical-front-groups/chadd/

    And another good roundup on all of this vile, industry driven hooking of our nation on Big Pharma’s drugs is at: http://www.cchrint.org/psycho-pharmaceutical-front-groups/

    Before you take a drug, or accept a new law, it’s a good idea to read the fine print on the label…

  • Ralph E. Stone

    Here is a list of known supporters of assisted outpatient treatment (http://mentalillnesspolicy.org/states/california/lauraslawsupporters.html)