09 Feb 06
Shane V ValueOptions (Update)
Shane filed a lawsuit against ValueOptions who denied him psychiatric medication when he was released from prison – an omission that contributed to him committing a theft for which he was sentenced to eleven and a quarter years. Shane petitioned the court for an attorney – one of the grounds being that he has a mental illness – and was denied because he can write.
Through legal action, Shane secured paperwork illuminating ValueOptions pattern of slipshod service to Arizona’s mentally ill, which includes some disturbing cases. The multi-millionaire boss at ValueOptions – Dr Ronald Dozoretz – often claims that the suicide of a mentally ill patient is one too many, yet suicides and deaths linked to his company are prevalent in Arizona.
Take, for example, Ed Lui, a schizophrenic ValueOptions patient who shot dead two Wal-Mart employees. Are those two too many deaths, Dr Dozoretz?
And there’s Doug Tatar, who was deemed to be nondangerous by mental-health workers and was not committed for evaluation. Doug shot four people – killing two police officers – before blowing his brains out. Are these deaths three too many, Dr Dozoretz?
Christine Meyers begged ValueOptions for help for two months, before walking down a ravine, putting a gun in her mouth, and ending her life. Is that one suicide too many, Dr Dororetz?
Peter Hookirk, a twenty-two year old college student, was accepted by ValueOptions and wrote, “they’ve classified me as SMI [Seriously Mentally Ill], dad, so maybe now they can help me get well and get a job so I won’t be a burden.”
How did ValueOptions help Peter? They gave him free tickets to the Arizona State Fair, and advised his parents to petition the courts to have him committed. Unable to get the help he needed, Peter hung himself in a lonely desert area where he had played as a child. Is that suicide one too many, Dr Dozortetz?
Let us not forget Loren Spellers, a thirty-nine year old schizophrenic, whose ValueOptions doctor advised her that “nothing could be done” and that “these are the symptoms of your illness”, these claims by the doctor after Loren, accompanied by her mother, presented with “increasing psychotic symptoms, including increased auditory and visual hallucinations.” The doctor refused Loren’s mother’s request for a change of medication, and just five and a half hours later, Loren Denise Spellers committed suicide by shooting herself in the head. Still counting suicides, Dr Dozoretz?
At least Governor Janet Napolitano lambasted ValueOptions in a letter to Dr Dozoretz. She wrote about “the unacceptable courses of dealing (or more accurately, a lack of dealing) between ValueOptions and Arizona’s mentally ill.”
The doctor’s response to the Governor was long on spin and statistics, and read more like a bullish stock analyst's report on his company.
How many more people must die unnecessarily before this company’s contract is granted to a service provider who will operate for the good of mentally-ill Arizonans – not for the good of Arizona’s money?
Props also to Shane for his battle against ValueOptions.
Reader’s comments and advice for Shane would be appreciated.
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Copyright © 2005-2006 Shaun P. Attwood