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07/20/2004 Archived Entry: "Illinois plans compulsory mental-health screenings"
WHEN CLAIMS CIRCULATED that the Bush admin was soon to impose compulsory mental-health screenings on us all, I ignored them, pending confirmation. Really, I wasn't quite ready to believe anything so bizarre. But one state, Illinois, has already taken that leap: Illinois plans to implement compulsory mental-health screenings for all children from birth-to-18 and for all pregnant & post-partum mothers.
That is ... all those children and pregnant women the Benevolent State can catch. The article's not specific, but it sounds as if children's screenings might be administered by the government school system.
Pardon me, but however these screenings are conducted ... this whole plan is insane.
Not only does it violate rights, but to this day there is no reasonable standard for determining what constitutes a "mental illness" and what doesn't. Ah ... but we do know that behavior that goes against authority (like, for instance, refusing screenings) is a sure sign of "mental illness," don't we? Not to mention being one of those cranky bastards who clings to some outmoded morality or belief in limited government.
You don't love the state? You SICKO!
Later: Kirsten, over at TCF, found the text of the actual legislation. Contrary to the original article, there doesn't appear to be anything in it about pregnant women being tested. The language is all very vague and the provisions all very up in the air at this point -- "recommend" this, "study" that, "set standards" for t'other. Potentially it's grimly ominous -- especially the part about "mental health" becoming part of state standards for learning. But it's not quite as first reported. And (as Alton_Speers noted), you gotta love those repeated references in the law to "children's mental health prevention."
Ah, but wait. NuclearDruid uncovers the draft plan which does call for screening pregnant women.
Sorry, this back-and-forthing is a hazard of letting Claire Files forum compatriots do my research. I offer the excuse (excuses being the in thing these days) that this is a blog, not an authoritative reference. It consists of whatever whacks me upside the brain at any given moment. I aim for accuracy and will gladly correct errors, but I admit rarely does the whack immediately inspire me to stop my day's work to dig for deep background. Bless the Internet and all those folk who contribute this piece or that to the whole picture. The truth shall out ... with my help or without it.
Posted by Claire @ 01:47 PM CST