12-Step Coercion - page 9

the following presentation was given at the may 21, 2004 open forum of the north carolina board of nursing meeting:... Read More

  1. by   Big Bab's
    Quote from LarryG
    Definitely get the point, Tweets. But a bit dismayed some attorney somewhere hasn't sued for negligent advice and consequences resulting from actions taken by an AA member after a meeting or consult.

    Maybe the government protects against this by granting AA (and the acting sponsor) immunity from such claims.

    Anyone hear of a lawsuit alleging negligence based on improper recommendations or failure to reasonably monitor a member? Curious.

    I know Tommy and Lemonhead have info on these lawsuits, its been too long and I don't have it anymore (lost it in my computer "upgrade" a couple months ago )......The lawsuits are out there, there just haven't been enough press to make them very well known....Tommy?...You still have this info somewhere?? :stone
  2. by   tommyperkins
    Quote from big bab's
    i know tommy and lemonhead have info on these lawsuits, its been too long and i don't have it anymore (lost it in my computer "upgrade" a couple months ago )......the lawsuits are out there, there just haven't been enough press to make them very well known....tommy?...you still have this info somewhere?? :stone
    here are the major 12-step coercion court rulings:



    http://www.angelfire.com/journal/forcedaa/courtopinions.html



    attorney/psychologist stanton peele has written extensively on the talbott lawsuit:



    http://www.peele.net/debate/asam.html



    an out-of-court settlement in florida:



    [font='times new roman']http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-onlin...13376898.shtml
  3. by   Tweety
    Quote from loerith
    Hmmmmmmm......

    This doesnt seem the least bit odd to you all?

    Yes the alternatives might be more expensive. But are they desperately needed?.....

    Yes.

    How far are you willing to go in this argument that uses as it's main point {for coercion to AA/NA} that expense to taxpayers is the thing of utmost importance here?


    Love and Peace,
    loerith
    I wasn't saying that expense to taxpayers is the thing of utmost importance here. But to offer treatment programs that are going to be effective, it's going to cost big bucks. High insurance premiums and tax dollars.

    As a health care profressional and someone with knowledge of alcholism and addiction, I would be willing to pay the price. The high cost to society of alcoholism and drug addiction is worth in the long run.

    However the average Joe Blow who honestly believes alcoholics are just weak willed and need to do it on their own with some will power and fortitude, may not be willing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Health care is not a high prority of our government and taxpayers. Can you imagaine a politician asking for more money for drug addicts and alcoholics, especially the amount of money it would really take.
  4. by   Havin' A Party!
    Thanks Tommy.

    Was more so seeking examples of suits premised on quality of advice / follow-up by AA (or other program) sponsor. Where perhaps the angle of attack was the lack of certifications, qualifications, etc. of the advisor.

    Think the fact that the group leader isn't State-qualified nurse, psychologistgist, therapist, etc. would readily place these programs in legal jeopardy.
  5. by   Tweety
    Quote from Big Bab's
    Its refreshing to see somebody actually admit that there is more than one way to conquer drugs and alcohol.....and that we shouldn't be forced to any one "program", I agree that we (the addicts) need to be doing something BUT there should be CHOICES!!...There are many "programs" out there and no one will work for everyone.....but give us a choice and use body fluid testing to confirm our abstinence.....Sounds like a decent plan to me!!.....Thanks for listening Tweety!!

    Babs, I think we're on the same page with that. One size fits all doesn't work. To force a religious way of recovery on someone is wrong.

    What I mainly have been saying is that AA is not this evil group of people, full of criminals and deranged people, out to recruit people into their cult.

    They've found a way that works for them, it helps them to stay sober to help other people get sober. It's one of the most sucessful recovery programs. It's full of real people helping one another cope with life without drugs or alcohol. Anyway, I said I wasn't going to get overly defensive. But there were some negative and false stereotypes about AA stated here. (yes their cure rate is dismall, but it is so with other programs too, which is why so many organizations favor AA and coerce (sp?) people into going.) (I think I'm beginning to understand that word. LOL).
  6. by   loerith
    tommy:

    this question.......



    "what is the official position of narcotics anonymous on the issue of government coercing people into narcotics anonymous? sincerely,tommy perkins"

    btw...did you get a reply to this question? dont tell me the preceding reply from na was your answer to this question?

    nevermind...now i see that it was.

    help me.



    love and peace,
    loerith
    Last edit by loerith on Jun 14, '04
  7. by   tommyperkins
    Quote from loerith
    tommy:

    this question.......



    "what is the official position of narcotics anonymous on the issue of government coercing people into narcotics anonymous? sincerely,tommy perkins"

    btw...did you get a reply to this question? dont tell me the preceding reply from na was your answer to this question?

    nevermind...now i see that it was.

    help me.



    love and peace,
    loerith
    yes, i got a reply. here it is in case you missed it:

    "tommy. thank you for your email.the issue you asked about is an outside issue to na, and na has no opinionon any outside issue. how or why a person comes to na is not our concern. na groups have only one purpose and that is to carry the message of recovery to addicts who still suffer. we are not medical experts, treatment professionals, or law enforcement personnel. we have no professionals and are plainly and simply a fellowship of recovering drug addicts who follow the 12 steps of narcotics anonymous, and meet regularly in order to help each other stay clean. please let me know if we can be of any further assistance. jeff gershoff,"
  8. by   Tweety
    I think that's a good policy for AA/NA to have. Because if they said "we'll take this person but not that person" it could be a bit exclusive.

    However, having people in meetings that don't want to be there, that don't even have a desire to stop using or drinking, but are there because a judge forced them to go doesn't necessarily follow with their policy of attracting those who have the desire to stop using/drinking either.

    Still it's probably better for them to keep the door open to all who walk in.
  9. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    The OP's question was does this guy have a case, I think.

    Not really: he has two choices though--he can give up his license or do something acceptable to the court (charged with enforcing the law, intended to protect the public), to demonstrate the probability that he is a safer nurse today and will probably continue that path.

    Choices. Most of the time when we engage in behaviors which, by virtue of a privilege (nursing license is not a right, mind you, any more than a driver's license!), endanger the public, we are (and should be) cooked.

    I don't agree that pure punishment is the answer--but I do think protecting the rest of us should be paramount.

    Some of us have no business being nurses, for a variety of reasons. Eliminating a means by which the public can be protected and the impaired professional can resume providing safe service to the community based on whether it is religious, spiritual or whatever is assinine.

    That nurse should be grateful for a chance to keep his license and continue his life in relative dignity and privacy. All he has to do is suit up, show up, sit down and shut up. Pretty simple program.

    Meantime, where did he work again? Because I sure don't want to be taken care of by him!
  10. by   Nurse Ratched
    Quote from LarryG
    Think the fact that the group leader isn't State-qualified nurse, psychologistgist, therapist, etc. would readily place these programs in legal jeopardy.
    Actually, I believe it's the lack of same that keeps them out of trouble. They never SAID they were health care providers or psychiatric or mental specialists, only a fellowship of men and women who desire to stop using. The second they start advertising themselves as a professional organization is when there is an expectation of professional help and all the responsibilities and legal entanglements that come with that (of course, they could also get reimbursement at that point.) But the fact is that this is admittedly an organization run by folks whose "only" qualification is that they want to stay clean and have been successful for some period of time. As addictions treatment criteria go, that's actually a pretty good resume.

    I will note that the relapse rate is horrendous almost regardless of which method of getting clean one chooses. Trust me, we professionals aren't doing so much better. If it was easy to stop using, we'd call it something besides addiction. Ultimately, if the addict doesn't want to get clean, going to meetings because the BON or court says they have to is probably a fruitless exercise. BUT, is the court (i.e. taxpayer) required to pay for counselors and psychiatrists? Apparently this coutry prefers its drug "war" money aimed at jailing users. Not saying it's right, just reality.
  11. by   vwgirl
    I think AA and NA both are great organizations with their hearts in the right place. What petty criminals and addicts may have in common is a giant void of spirituality in their lives, (unless they're socio or psychopaths, which are truly evil personalities). Any organization that tries to provide a sense of spirituality to a lost human being has my respect.

    I would like to think however that the criminal justice system takes its job a bit more seriously than to refer a psychopath or manipulative sociopath sex offender to an open meeting where they could take advantage of naive first time offenders. I'd sure support some limits on just which criminals are allowed to participate in AA/NA.

    I liked what you had to say. But the real deal is this: the courts will usually view ANY drug use/alcohol use as the underlying problem when considering a crime/sentencing parameters. So if they uncover the fact that someone who is a sex offender (or whatever) has ANY history of drug use, even if it is irrelevant to the current crime being considered, drug use counseling/treatment/NA will be mandated; it's called CYA, and as nurses, we are all familiar with that! (I speak from personal experience with this.)
    As far as the prescense of truly disturbed people in 12- step programs, there are truly disturbed people EVERYWHERE, we just don't know who they are. At least if I hear someone share something bizarre and scary in a meeting, I can keep my eyes open and stay away from that person. I don't get that option with the man on the street who tries something crazy with no advance warning.
  12. by   Lemonhead
    [QUOTE=chris_at_lucas]The OP's question was does this guy have a case, I think.

    Choices. Most of the time when we engage in behaviors which, by virtue of a privilege (nursing license is not a right, mind you, any more than a driver's license!), endanger the public, we are (and should be) cooked.

    Everytime I see this myth written, I just want to cringe. I've stated this before, I'll state it again. A professional license is NOT a priviledge..it is a RIGHT protected under the United States Constitution. It does not fall in the category of a driver's license, it is a protected, Property Right, again, under the US Constitution. Unfortunately, so many nurses do not question, nor fight, loss of licensure because of the myth that it is a "priviledge". With that in mind, we have a RIGHT via the United States Constitution to protect our property, AND to not be state forced into a religious organization in order to protect that property. Here are excerts from various legal sites that may explain this a little better. Again, our licensure is a RIGHT, NOT a priviledge--REGARDLESS of our offenses, indescretions or crimes.

    After it is earned, a license to practice a profession is seen as a "property right." As a result, the nurse has protections when a governmental entity, such as the board of nursing, takes an action that threatens an individual's constitutional rights.

    Licensing: a Constitutionally Protected Property Right: When considering or discussing a license to engage in a profession or business, a most important thing to remember is that the license is a valuable property right which for which the licensee has various constitutional rights, including the right not to have the license prematurely terminated, suspended or curtailed without compliance with due process. In other words, a licensee's license has much the same type of protection as the licensee's house or bank account.

    licenses which are required for an individual professional or businessperson to engage in his/her business or profession, such as a medical license, architect license, dentist license, nurse license, chiropractor license, pilot license, radio or television broadcast license, and proprietary or non-profit school license -- all licenses in which the licensee has a major investment of money and time, and without which the person will probably be destroyed financially, socially and psychologically.

    Proceeding: When a federal or state administrative agency has determined to try to take a license away from one of its licensees, the agency is required to adhere to certain agency rules and to constitutional principles requiring that the licensee not be deprived of his license without notice and an opportunity to be heard, and that there by a showing of cause by the agency.

    These are just a few examples/explanations. The key point here, is that the state boards CANNOT violate our constitutional rights in revoking, suspending, etc a license, ie; property right. And to mandate a religious organization or risk loss of licensure, ie; property right, is absolutely, unequivocally a violation. And again, it is rarely fought because of the perpetuation of the myth: "our license is a priviledge"....
  13. by   Tweety
    [QUOTE=Lemonhead]
    Quote from chris_at_lucas
    The OP's question was does this guy have a case, I think.

    Choices. Most of the time when we engage in behaviors which, by virtue of a privilege (nursing license is not a right, mind you, any more than a driver's license!), endanger the public, we are (and should be) cooked.

    Everytime I see this myth written, I just want to cringe. I've stated this before, I'll state it again. A professional license is NOT a priviledge..it is a RIGHT protected under the United States Constitution. It does not fall in the category of a driver's license, it is a protected, Property Right, again, under the US Constitution. Unfortunately, so many nurses do not question, nor fight, loss of licensure because of the myth that it is a "priviledge". With that in mind, we have a RIGHT via the United States Constitution to protect our property, AND to not be state forced into a religious organization in order to protect that property. Here are excerts from various legal sites that may explain this a little better. Again, our licensure is a RIGHT, NOT a priviledge--REGARDLESS of our offenses, indescretions or crimes.

    After it is earned, a license to practice a profession is seen as a "property right." As a result, the nurse has protections when a governmental entity, such as the board of nursing, takes an action that threatens an individual's constitutional rights.

    Licensing: a Constitutionally Protected Property Right: When considering or discussing a license to engage in a profession or business, a most important thing to remember is that the license is a valuable property right which for which the licensee has various constitutional rights, including the right not to have the license prematurely terminated, suspended or curtailed without compliance with due process. In other words, a licensee's license has much the same type of protection as the licensee's house or bank account.

    licenses which are required for an individual professional or businessperson to engage in his/her business or profession, such as a medical license, architect license, dentist license, nurse license, chiropractor license, pilot license, radio or television broadcast license, and proprietary or non-profit school license -- all licenses in which the licensee has a major investment of money and time, and without which the person will probably be destroyed financially, socially and psychologically.

    Proceeding: When a federal or state administrative agency has determined to try to take a license away from one of its licensees, the agency is required to adhere to certain agency rules and to constitutional principles requiring that the licensee not be deprived of his license without notice and an opportunity to be heard, and that there by a showing of cause by the agency.

    These are just a few examples/explanations. The key point here, is that the state boards CANNOT violate our constitutional rights in revoking, suspending, etc a license, ie; property right. And to mandate a religious organization or risk loss of licensure, ie; property right, is absolutely, unequivocally a violation. And again, it is rarely fought because of the perpetuation of the myth: "our license is a priviledge"....
    Thanks for the good post and for clearing that up. I appreciate the fact that my license is a right and protected under the constitution and not a priveledge bestowed upon us.

    Obviously they can revoke or suspend our license, they just can't violate the constitution to do it.

    But as was noted, it's not just the board of nursing mandating (coercing) people to AA/NA it's all other kinds of criminal justice agencies. So it's not just whimpy nurses not standing up for their rights, it's a lot of people. I think it's because people are so humbled that they want what is offered (such as keeping their nursing license, getting out of jail, etc.) that they just shut up and go along with it. Just a thought.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jun 15, '04

close