Death of Man in Restraints Questioned

Judge for yourself from this video showing the final moments of Joshua Messier’s 23 year-old life in state care.

After being restrained by all these big guards at Bridgewater State Hospital putting all their weight on him, you can see him turning blue and die.

Read for yourself today’s expose in the Boston Sunday Globe.

It begs the question: Was he killed by the state just for exhibiting symptoms of schizophrenia?

As the video suggests, the man with diagnosed schizophrenia, here from a hospital for psychiatric evaluation for violent psychotic behavior in the first place, is having another episode, hearing voices, seeing visions, when state prison guards subdue him, hands and feet, in four-point restraint.

Ten minutes later, turning blue as his guards chat to each other beside him, he’s gone.

The explanation of the prison guards transcends belief. They know nothing about schizophrenia. They’ve had no meaningful training in mental health disorders. This at the state of Massachusetts’ prison for the mentally ill. (Despite its name, Bridgewater State Hospital is a medium-security prison.)

Of course they don’t. Why would they know the least about the most severe mental illness dealt with in psychiatry? They only have to deal with it every single day of the week.

Am I the only one who catches the cosmic irony of a man hospitalized for an illness being murdered, essentially, by the system meant to help him?

I have been restrained a few times to be given injections not because i was violent or anything but for not obeying a nurse. It was not a pleasant experience. The big built men get the job of holding you down.
Do you think it is overused /used inappropriately? What has your experience been?

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forget knowing nothing about SZ, these idiots knew noting about basic first aid. What a bunch of…

SZ or not, if you restrict breathing… people die with out oxygen. There are bigger problem here then no mental illness training…

Elyn Saks is very outspoken against restraints. People die every year in restraints, and they are considered inhumane by today’s standards. A straight jacket is more appropriate, because restraints can be too tight and suffocate patients, as they repeatedly do. Saks actually wrote a paper on death by restraints as a law student, after being held in restraints numerous times herself.

This is one of the worst topics about schizophrenia- death from restraints. It is one of the last inhumane methods of treatment and will likely to discontinued within ten years.

The problem is that restraints are very effective when the patient doesnt suffocate. It’s widely considered inhumane and used as punishment instead of treatment (i.e. preventing self-harm), but it’s use as treatment is confounded by the incidence of death that it also brings.

Again, a most controversial topic and likely one that is on its way to being outdated entirely. A heavy dose of thorazine is much more humane than restraints and just as effective. It is speculated that restraints are still used as a sort of double-edged sword; they treat agitation and also serve as punishment for the patient. BF Skinner himself said that punishment is no good and we learn nothing from it, especially when the punished person is legally insane and doesn’t understand right from wrong.

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Clearly the police are mentally unstable. Perhaps they should be placed within a prison for the mentally ill and be restrained and forced to receive medications by whatever brutal means other fellow police officers see fit.

If you are dressed in a uniform, it’s amazing how you can get away with just about anything.

Police officers, for instance, have been given the allowance to behave in a manner that has led to the death of a many a people who were carrying the lethal weapon that is known to you as the TV Remote Control Device. That’s right, the police were so well trained that they were now able to clearly see that a TV Remote Control Device is obviously a lethal weapon of some kind, thus those holding such a weapon must be brought down.

Or, for instance, army personnel have been given the allowance to behave in a manner that has led to the death of a many a people who were carrying the lethal weapon that is known to you as the TV Camera Device. That’s right, the army personnel were so well trained that they were now able to clearly see that a TV Camera Device is obviously a lethal weapon of some kind, thus those holding such a weapon must be brought down, and that this can even be done from such a far distance that it takes the bullets several seconds to reach the human target.

Thus the point is that such people are allowed to proceed to kill even while they are in such a state that they can not tell the difference between a Gun and a TV Remote Control Device, or the difference between an RPG and a TV Camera Device.,_2007_Baghdad_airstrike

Fortunately, police and army personnel have not yet thought that this device and others similar in appearance are lethal weapons.

I was in a mental health prison and was jumped by three officers after I had an episode. The guards choked me with his knee on my throat for about ten minutes but it seemed like longer. Then the finally get off me and place me in chains and on the way to medical to be seen the guards slammed my face into a brick wall making a huge cut next to my eye. They lifted up my shirt and put it over my head because they said I might spit on them. It took thirty minutes to get seen by the nurses so they could stop the bleeding and bandage my wounds. They also broke my back in the process and I could hardly move I was in so much pain. Eventually the mental health director came to see me and she immediately had me sent to another prison before the guards decided to hurt me again. Long story short I could have died from how they treated me.

The PsychCentral piece is very poorly written.

This is a terrible story of guards using inappropriate restraints, the “suitcase” technique. I suppose it could have happened to any inmate, not sure how schizophrenia factors into this.

I found this strange in the Boston Globe article:

As a growing number of guards wrestled Messier into handcuffs and leg irons, Messier shouted, “I’m having a schizophrenic attack!” Pupek recalled.

I guess you could say anything during an episode but if the guy was aware enough to know he was having an episode, he should have been aware enough to stop fighting.

In any case, it’s a tragedy.

I was put into 5point restraints once for fighting, then the second time at the hospital restraints simply because of the first time, but no current resistance.
The third time was because I was a flight risk, the fourth and fifth time because of being a prior flight risk( I did manage the get away one time because I disagreed with the doctors view, and they never found me).
Did I like it? No especially when I managed to remove 3 of the 4restraints and was tackled by 6 very large security guards that had a hard time keeping me down. Ativan shot took care of everything after ?20? Minutes or so.
There is no reason to smush people though, a heavy, wet blanket works well.

I’ve only been in restraints twice. The first time maybe I needed it because I did keep running if I could get free. The second time I don’t really remember, and I was so weak and malnourished and out of it, I mostly likely didn’t need much.

More news…

9616 comments poted here at CNN.

This is disturbing and disgusting on so many levels! I mean we don’t even live in a Nazi Fascist regime and yet we call ourselves a democracy?! All these reports are cropping up about insane cops beating to death victims of a mental illness, or shooting people point blank like it’s their job to protect themselves from the monsters that we are!!

I was put in restraints once. It was the worst feeling in the world. But no they weren’t aggressive toward me. I was put in them in an ER because I was trying to leave but I was under 18 so they put me on a hospital bed and strapped me into it for an hour while my parents argued back and forth. I hated it so much but at least they weren’t aggressive and they were padded so it didnt really hurt. It was just horrible.

I understand them being used humanely for someone’s own protection who is aggressive. It does make sense. Did I have a right to refuse treatment? That’s the thing, if i hadn’t I would of gotten worse over time. So I’m happy that I was able to get treatment. But now there is no access to mental health from the outside for MOST people, cops are abusing schizophrenics which makes them look like pigs who know nothing about human rights, which just embarasses the nation.

This is a national crisis, and an embarassment to other countries. It makes us look like absolute ■■■■. Hurts international relations, makes everyone distrust us and I mean we just look like ■■■■ for it. We call ourselves a representational democracy and yet look what they’ve done to those who are different.

Never was restrained, only held down and injected forcibly with a serious dose of haldol, almost passed out from it.