New York State Mental Health Initiative Signed into Law.
The new gun control law signed by N Y Governor Andrew Coumo today contains requirements that mental health professionals report to authorities when patients who are legislators make it known that they are supporting ill-conceived or counterproductive legislation.
“This measure will protect the public when therapists and counselors become aware that their lawmaker clients are supporting bills that are a threat to public health and safety. Authorities need to know when public officials are crazy enough to confess to thoughts and impulses that could result in their institutionalization,” said N Y Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ben Luney.
-Seriously, this section of the New York’s new gun-control law sounds like a threat to Doctor/patient privilege; the confidentiality that encourages patients to be frank with their caregivers. This brings to mind Bush-era gag rules that prohibited doctors from discussing abortion with patients who were pregnant, offering only information on pre-natal care and delivery. Another example of legislators trying to practice medicine.
Some say that Psychiatrists and counselors will ignore this rule and continue to use traditional treatment methods, but this leaves the question of whether patients will trust them to do so; people are scared enough of doctors already.
Back in the sixties, before no-fault divorce laws, the only grounds for divorce in New York State was adultery. At the time Woody Allen said that “The Lord sayeth ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery: The State of New York sayeth ‘Thou shalt’.” What’s that got to do with this? Just a caution about trying to legislate morality, and a reminder about the law of unintended consequences and the odors emanating from the sausage factory.