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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mental Health - Court Refuses to Clear Maine Doctor in Civil Rights Case

Court Refuses to Clear Maine Doctor in Civil Rights Case



Did Linda Clifford, who reportedly sent three suspicious email messages to Maine Governor

Baldacci, put at risk the governor's, or the public's safety or her own well being?



I'm wondering if this case in Maine might eventually be heard by the US Supreme Court?



In my nursing mind, the issue is protection of the public.


Although I obviously have no understanding about Civil Rights law, my experience as a nurse is to make an assessment about the risk of harm. If it was determined that the governor's safety was at risk because of Linda Clifford's email messages, then her mental health status should have been identified and treated before any of this became an issue. 

Clifford's psychiatric assessment should not have been postponed until her situation was apparently recycled two times


Most likely, by the time Clifford was detained a second time for evaluation, she was probably overly agitated to the point where emergency room staff felt she had to be protected from projecting harm on herself or others.



At the end of this unfortunate saga, the issue is about who will pay for the prevention of future Linda Clifford like emergencies? Community health funding has been seriously impaired to the point where even the chronically mentally ill with severe and persistent symptoms are unable to access timely care. Therefore, it's becoming increasingly challenging for a person with an intermittent expression of anger to capture priority attention.  In a perfect world, Clifford should have been prevented from reaching this level of anxiety.



Now, of course, in retrospect, the cost of vetting this issue through the courts will undoubtedly exceed the expense of providing preventive mental health care.

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