Information helpline: 844-4-DECENCY                      

Have you or a loved one been 
mistreated in a
psychiatric ward?

Join fellow patients who are working together now to seek justice.

Animal welfare laws 

Mental hospitals have violated even animal welfare laws:

Under New York State animal welfare laws, confined animals are required to have drinking water and exercise, and must not be tortured.  "'Torture' or 'cruelty' includes every act, omission, or neglect, whereby unjustifiable physical pain, suffering or death is caused or permitted." (N.Y. AGRIC. & MKTS. LAW § 350 (2012). Definitions.)   Failure to provide food and water to animals is a misdemeanor punishable by a year in prison and a fine (N.Y. AGRIC. & MKTS. LAW § 356), however New York mental hygiene laws fail to make any mention of drinking water, nor do they have any specific requirements about fresh air time and exercise. The definition of torture of animals is laid out clearly in the law, however mental hygiene law fails to define torture at all.  To break the animal torture law in New York is a Class A misdemeanor (N.Y. AGRIC. & MKTS. LAW § 353). Carrying an animal in a cruel way is also considered torture (N.Y. AGRIC. & MKTS. LAW § 359).  Aggravated cruelty to animals (which only means torture which is intended to cause extreme pain or is done "in an especially depraved or sadistic manner") is a felony (N.Y. AGRIC. & MKTS. LAW § 353-a).

Lauren Andersen says, “The way in which the staff at the so-called "best" psychiatric hospital in New York forcibly incarcerated, stripped and injected me, a nonviolent human, would meet the definition of torture if I were an animal.  In addition to that, I was roughly carried like a sack of potatoes, deprived of drinking water, and had my corrective lenses confiscated, among other acts of cruelty, and no disciplinary action was taken against the hospital staff involved.  I have heard such horror stories from other former patients too. 

Therefore, since the Office of Mental Health, the "best" psychiatric hospitals, and law enforcement, all consider psych patients to be not entitled to protection of their basic human rights -- i.e. sub-human --  then they should be able to bring legal action against their abusers as animals, correct??"

[this information is current to the best of our knowledge as of 2/14]