SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

September 26, 2013

NE ‘suit’ 4 exporting ill

Health issues

Suit alleges Nevada exports mentally ill


SAN FRANCISCO — David Theisen keeps his legal papers in a frayed yellow envelope in his tiny transients-hotel room.

A lot has changed in the year and a half since Theisen, while homeless, threatened to kill himself with a butcher knife and ended up in a Las Vegas psychiatric center.  After one night, Theisen found himself on a bus to San Francisco, with several sack lunches and a day’s worth of medication.

“Technically, they shouldn’t have been allowed to send me anywhere,” Theisen said. “They should have put me in a little room until I got better.”

  • Now, Theisen, 52, is at the center of a class-action lawsuit brought this month by San Francisco’s city attorney, Dennis Herrera, against the state of Nevada on behalf of 24 mentally ill and homeless people. Like Theisen, the others were bused out of Nevada and left on the streets of San Francisco with little or no medication.

But that is just a small sampling, Herrera said, of the estimated 1,500 people who were bused all over the country in recent years from the state-operated Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Center in Las Vegas and other Nevada institutions.

  • “It’s horrifying,” Herrera said. “I think we can all agree that our most-vulnerable and at-risk people don’t deserve this sort of treatment: no meds, no medical care, a destination where they have no contacts and know no one.”

Mary Woods, a spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, laid out the state’s position in an email. Other than in a handful of instances, the state believes that its Client Transportation Back to Home Communities program was operated properly and that the program is not unlike programs in other jurisdictions, including San Francisco.

(My Comment:

Guess this could get interesting —  each accusing the other of crummy behavior.   But just imagine being some of these sick people and getting a ride out of state to destination unknown and dumped out on your own, alone, with no funds, friends or idea what to do..

Doesn’t it make you wonder about the people in charge,  the deciders?   Jan)


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