UPMC Lawsuit: Psychiatric Malpractice Abuse

by admin on February 22, 2011

UPMC Lawsuit: Psychiatric Malpractice Abuse

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Home Page > Law > Health and Safety > UPMC Lawsuit: Psychiatric Malpractice Abuse

UPMC Lawsuit: Psychiatric Malpractice Abuse

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Posted: Feb 21, 2011 |Comments: 0

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Blessed by a Policy of Patient Abuse


“You’re jammin’ yourself!” the Glorified Barroom Bouncer snapped an almost friendly warning at Bipolarman as the two men banged violently against the Emergency Room wall.

“I came here voluntarily and I’m leaving voluntarily,” cracked Bipolarman as he planted himself to the floor and braced against the locked, metal ER door.

“We can go to the floor!” the Bouncer yelped a shaky command at the other two typically overweight hospital “safety” officers as they yanked, pushed, wrestled and tried to man-handle Bipolarman any which way they could to keep him from the ER exit.

There was no way on God’s green earth – let alone UPMC/Western Psychiatric’s welfared waiting room  – that Bipolarman was going to go peacefully into whatever bleak coercion the hospital had prepared for the impudent likes of his rebellious sort. Until, that is, Glorified Barroom Bouncer #1 desperately yelled with his now-depleting wind, “Get a nurse! We need a shot!”

Bipolarman was, indeed, bipolar – and now ferociously so – but he still had the good sense to use the ‘go-go-go’ brain with which God had so greatly gifted him. Even in a well-justified bipolar rage, Bipolarman knew that “We need a shot” meant that he might be asleep for as much as 36 hours. And his 70-year-old parents would be kept in the dark as to what happened to him after his Dad had dropped him off at the ER for what passed as ‘medical’ treatment.

Bipolarman heard the threat, “shot,” and he immediately said, “I quit.” His parents, at least this time, were more important than his rage.

It was just past midnight, September 29, 2010, when the Glorified Barroom Bouncers finally physically forced Bipolarman into the seclusion room at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC).

For Bipolarman the hospital was now nothing other than an Institute of Penal Correction. His crime? Daring to question the Omniscient, Omnipotent, and oh so Omni-Present authority of an 8 Billion-dollar Divine Monolith of a ‘Unified Health System’ that had come to dominate all of Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.

The brash, impudent, child-fool had talked back. Sassed his betters. If anybody ever belonged in Seclusion Room 192, it was this insubordinate, ill-informed, bipolar know-nothing. Who in the heavens and earth was he to think that he could make a decision regarding his own medical ‘care’ and treatment?

He was Bipolarman.

A former psychotherapist with a Masters Degree in Psychology and a year of Law School behind him. And a 6-foot-4-inch, 215 pound life-long and fist-full penchant for not letting anybody tell him what to do. Just ask St. Thomas University School of Law. The Dean could not have had any idea what would hit him when he expelled Bipolarman on March 23, 2001 – within one day of learning that Bipolarman had, indeed, earned his name. The then 39-year-old Bipolarman took it upon himself to sue the Law School in Federal Court, file a complaint with the United States Department of Justice under the ADA, and repeatedly petition the Archbishop of Miami who ultimately oversaw the Law School.

And he did it all without an attorney. It cost him next to nothing in dollars. And he had all the time, effort, passion, and education needed to get the job done. The Defendat used four law firms

The massive underdog kept the fight going for five-and-a-half years worth of Motions to Dismiss, Amended Complaints, subpoenas, interrogatories, requests for admissions, production of documents, objections, Motions to Compel, Motions to Quash, affidavits, depositions and denied deposition requests, Motions for Summary Judgment, Motions for Protective Orders, an Appeal to the Eleventh Circuit, and whatever else needed to be done.

Bipolarman, unlike most Psych-warders, had a well-versed sense of the so-called Patients Bill of ‘rights” – and the battle-tested nerve to see that it was enforced. As he sat, stretched, and deep-breathed in a now strangely calm, and barely-lit seclusion, he had four long hours to consider all of the events that had landed him in that state of arrest – – – and what he might do about it!

And he was pleased that he had not gone peacefully.

About the Author:
Richard Jarzynka is the author of Blessed with Bipolar. He earned his masters in Psychology while he was locked up on a Psych Ward. He earned a full-tuition, merit-based scholarship to Law School and was expelled one day after the Dean learned that he had bipolar disorder.
Check out Richard’s On-Line Bipolar Discussion and Support Page. It’s like nothing else on the internet.
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