A judge has asked the Sheriff to pick up Elizabeth Ellis, 67, living peacefully at home with her husband in Moorhead, Minnesota, and bring her to a psychiatric institution. The main reason? Elizabeth refused to report last month for another involuntary court-ordered outpatient electroshock. Support a grassroots campaign to phone Minnesota's new governor at 651-201-3400.
Elizabeth K. Ellis, 67, of Moorhead, Minnesota: Forced outpatient electroshock survivor.
Alert2 - 16 February 2011
"Elizabeth may be picked up any minute."
Stop the Forced Electroshock of Elizabeth Ellis!
Join a phone-in to office of Minn. Governor Mark Dayton at
Your message in your own words: "What is your office doing to stop the involuntary outpatient electroshock of Elizabeth Ellis and others? Why have your staff not responded to MindFreedom?"
MindFreedom International director David Oaks said:
"Join me in peacefully flooding the Governor's office with calls every day. Be civil and strong, but do not give up, until this new Governor speaks up and takes action.
"For nearly three weeks, we've heard nothing back from the Governor's staff. Now it's an emergency! The mental health industry needs an 'Egyptian' moment! Phone now! 651-201-3400!"
Latest News Updates about Elizabeth Campaign:
You may now visit a new "Elizabeth Campaign Gateway" for the latest updates and news here:
A folder of court and agency documents you can download about Elizabeth's forced electroshock, including the new court order to transport her to a psychiatric institution for saying "no" to forced electroshock.
A personal plea Elizabeth made today after receiving her court notice that a Sheriff may pick her up.
An interview with Elizabeth on 12 Feb. on MindFreedom Free Web Radio.
How to join a new Facebook Cause for Elizabeth.
Learn how the same week Elizabeth refused her outpatient electroshock... an FDA panel voted that the device is "hazardous," and should finally be tested for safety and efficacy for the first time in 70 years!
A blog entry by MindFreedom director David Oaks calls for the global mental health advocacy community to create a peaceful revolution like that in Egypt.
Elizabeth told the MindFreedom office in an interview today:
"I have gotten the orders to 'revoke and transport.' I spoke with my public defender. He said the sheriff can come at any minute. My attorney has written an affidavit challenging the need to continue ECT. I also have an appointment with a new psychiatrist this weekend who supports my right to say 'no' to electroshock."
Said Elizabeth: "They claim they are trying to save my life. But maybe they are trying to save their image, now that they know I'm challenging them and I have an organization's backing."
Elizabeth added, "I'm in very good mental health. I'm active, eating, sleeping, doing everything. I'm in deep appreciation of MindFreedom for putting out alerts."
Her husband Robert (see photo of the couple above) agreed: "Elizabeth doesn't need electroshock. She's been fine, active. We've been doing things together. She's pretty sharp, but her memory is still off from the electroshock. I'm angry and upset about this court order for her to have forced outpatient electroshock."
O'Connor v. Donaldson, 422 U.S. 563 (1975), was a landmark decision in mental health law. The United States Supreme Court ruled that states cannot confine citizens to an institution (or similar) without treatment if they are non-dangerous and capable of living by themselves, or with the aid of responsible family or friends, and that involuntary hospitalization and/or treatment violates an individual's civil rights, unless the individual is exhibiting behavior that is a danger to themselves or others. Also, if involuntary hospitalization and/or treatment is allowed, the hold must be for evaluation only and a court order must be received for more than very short term treatment or hospitalization (typically no longer than 72 hours), and the treatment must take place in the least restrictive setting possible. This ruling has severely limited involuntary treatment and hospitalization in the United States; however, the statutes vary somewhat from state to state.  Kenneth Donaldson (confined patient) had been held for 15 years in Florida State Hospital at Chattahoochee, due to needs of "care, maintenance, and treatment". He filed a lawsuit against the hospital and staff members claiming they had robbed him of his constitutional rights, by confining him against his will. Donaldson won his case (including monetary damages) in United States District Court, won the appeals, and in 1975 the victory was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court.
A finding of "mental illness" alone cannot justify a State's locking a person up against their will and keeping them indefinitely in simple custodial confinement. Assuming that that term can be given a reasonably precise content and that the "mentally ill" can be identified with reasonable accuracy, (???) there is still no constitutional basis for confining such persons involuntarily if they are dangerous to no one and can live safely in freedom.
May the State confine the mentally ill merely to ensure them a living standard superior to that they enjoy in the private community? That the State has a proper interest in providing care and assistance to the unfortunate goes without saying. But the mere presence of mental illness does not disqualify a person from preferring his home to the comforts of an institution. Moreover, while the State may arguably confine a person to save him from harm, incarceration is rarely if ever a necessary condition for raising the living standards of those capable of surviving safely in freedom, on their own or with the help of family or friends. May the State fence in the harmless mentally ill solely to save its citizens from exposure to those whose ways are different? One might as well ask if the State, to avoid public unease, could incarcerate all who are physically unattractive or socially eccentric. Mere public intolerance or animosity cannot constitutionally justify the deprivation of a person's physical liberty. In short, a State cannot constitutionally confine without more a nondangerous individual who is capable of surviving safely in freedom by himself or with the help of willing and responsible family members or friends. ...