MentalHealthRightsYES - for Mental Health Rights
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Emily's Story
Vancouver, Washington's Emily, FREED from Western State Hospital
Read full story at
Emily, a 29 year old young woman from Lithuania, entered a local Vancouver Emergency Hospital room in September 2009, experiencing severe menstrual cramps.  Read her tragic , but now victorious story of how instead of treatment for menstrual cramps, she was unfairly and  involuntarily committed to Western State Hospital as gravely disabled for almost a year. After months of advocacy and exposure of this injustice Emily was released on August 24, 2010. Read her story!

"Alert helps free Emily Darguzhyte who was locked inside Western State Hospital

A 28-year-old woman from Lithuania, who has trouble with English, was being heavily forcibly drugged while held in extended ongoing involuntary lock-ups at the notorious Western State Hospital. Her family and friends asked that she be released. MindFreedom issued the below alert. UPDATE 24 AUGUST 2010: THIS CAMPAIGN HAS WON! Emily was freed 24 August 2010.
Western State Hospital holds more than 800 psychiatric inmates, according to Ilene Le Vee, WSH Consumer Affairs.

UPDATE 24 August 2010: Activist Cindi Fisher reports that the below alert helped, and this campaign is a SUCCESS.  Emily
Darguzhyte is now FREE. She was released on 24 August and is now home with family and friends. Thank you in Lithuanian is Aciu! So aciu, everyone who took action in any way, it's appreciated.
[This below alert is by friends and family of Emily, who are responsible for the content.]
Free Emily from Western State Hospital, and Reopen Court Case from Year 2001!
by Cindi Fisher on behalf of the Darguzhyte family:
Hello Friends around the World:
Eita Darhguzene needs your help to free her daughter, Emily Darguzhyte and to prove her daughter’s innocence in a 2001 kangaroo court case.
Action  (no longer needed for Emily)
Please call and request that Emily be given her freedom and returned to her family immediately. She has been involuntarily confined and drugged for over nine months and now the doctors are petitioning for an additional 180 days. They are using her false charge and conviction in 2001 as part of the support for their petition, and charging yet again that she is gravely disabled.
She goes to court 1 July 2010, but keep speaking out until she is free.
Please call the CEO of Western State Hospital, Jess Jamison 253-756-2525 and tell him to instruct the treatment team to withdraw their petition and give Emily her freedom.
Please E-mail Governor Gregoir and request that Emily be given her freedom and tell her to investigate and reopen the court case against Emily Dargughyte in 2001.
More information:
Click here to read the details of the impulsive mistake made by court house guards and the cover up that followed, resulting in young Emily, then 19 years old, being illegally coerced into plea bargaining to gain her freedom, in a courtroom where no one else was present except Emily’s parents, after over 165 days of psychiatric drugging, jail and isolation from her family. No interpreter has ever present.
In this latest travesty of justice, Emily, now 28, was sentenced first to a 90 day involuntary commitment with court-ordered forced drugging and then manipulated into signing an additional 180 day confinement to Western State Hospital. She was committed as gravely disabled because she refused to talk to the hospital emergency room staff and because she was determined to give a urine sample as she was asked to do.
Emily's speaks English, but her native language is Lithuanian and Lithuanian is the only language spoken at home. An interpreter was never present.
Almost 300 days ago, Emily went to the local emergency room for dysmenorrhea, a form of severe menstrual cramps. Her chart stated she had been hospitalized before at Western State Hospital, so instead of treating her dysmenorrhea in the regular emergency room she had first been placed in, they transported her to the part of the hospital reserved for those with mental illness.
Having been misunderstood and unjustly committed from this behavioral health room before, she refused to respond to their questions and kept silent until her mother arrived. She then conversed quite fluently in Lithuanian with her mother.
Misunderstanding About Urine Sample Escalates
When asked for a urine sample she sat on the commode for a half hour, trying to overcome the effects of prior medication which causes difficulty in urinating. The staff became impatient after waiting a half hour for the sample and demanded she get off the commode.
Her mother, knowing Emily's difficulty, had left the room to give Emily privacy and time. When her mother returned; she was shocked and horrified to see Emily face down on the floor with her hands handcuffed behind her back. When Emily had refused to move, the staff did not attempt to locate Emily's mother, but became impatient and instead sought the assistance of security to have her forcefully removed from the commode.
Given such cruel, embarrassing, and humiliating treatment, Emily refused to talk to the County mental health male practitioner, who had been called by the nursing staff.
For this silence... and for her determined effort to overcome a medication side effect... she lost her freedom and her health. The DMHP pronounced Emily gravely disabled, despite Emily's mother explanation that her daughter was socializing with friends and family, and caring for herself, just prior to the onset of the severe menstrual cramps; not at all gravely disabled. And 300 days later, she is now suffering physically and emotionally from the high doses of medication and their terrible side effects; and extreme isolation from her mother and family since she was involuntarily committed!
Recently, after being denied her second outing outside in 270 days with her mother, Emily, in despair, fell on the floor and cried out "I am nothing..I am nothing."
Emily and her family speak Lithuanian at home and never once was an interpreter present for any of the proceedings or events during this almost 300 day ordeal. This in itself was/is a travesty of justice, but extremely so, when after a 90 day confinement of mandated drugging, Emily was manipulated into signing up for an additional 180 days when her mother was not present.
And now Emily is very silent and talks very little with the staff and they want to use this as well, as evidence of "gravely disabled", and imprison Emily for another 180 days. They even site her 2001 charge, even though it was reduced to a coerced plea bargain, as support for this continued violation of Emily’s human rights and due process of law.
If the treatment team does not withdraw the petition, we have requested a hearing (July 1, 2010) and will have Dr. Toby Watson, director of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology as an expert witness by telephone. But the reality is that the staff should withdraw the petition and release Emily immediately! Although they recently changed members of the treatment team, the two main petitioners were Dr. Longawa, psychiatrist, and Anneliese Simons, social worker.

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