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Welcome to Dr. John William’s Psychology Class

March 13, 2011

I just noticed that Dr. John William’s Clinical Ethics Psychology class at the University of Northern Iowa is following this blog and the case, Federici v Pignotti and I would like to extend a warm welcome to them.  This blog is linked to in their latest posting.

One of the students posted a comment agreeing with me on the dangers of prone restraint. Scroll down to the last two comments, to read it. Glad she’s making others aware of this important issue that some licensed mental health professionals apparently are not. She provided the following link, which comes from the work of Charly Miller:

http://www.tact2.com/images/Restraint_asphyxia_r_10395A.pdf

and this link:

http://healthvermont.gov/hc/death_certificate/documents/mannerofdeath.pdf

Note that Federici’s only response is to make an argument from authority, proclaiming that Charly Miller is not an “expert” in prone restraint without one word of rebuttal as far as I know to the substance of her position. Actually, her position on the dangers of prone restraint is widely supported by states such as Ohio that have banned prone restraint altogether and even experts on prone restraint who argue in favor of its usage, caution people not to have anyone on top of the person being restrained, never to put a pillow under the person and that the procedure should be used only when there are immediate threats to physical safety. Experts Merrill Winston and his colleagues maintain that no one should ever be on top of the person, not even straddling because the danger is that the people doing the restraints could become fatigued and inadvertently apply pressure. Here, they are referring to trained professionals working in institutional settings. How much worse would that be when parents, alone at home with their own children are keeping the child in a face-down prone restraint for hours at a time while “straddling” the child? SAMHSA has a program with the goal of eliminating restraints altogether. What Federici is recommending in his book flies in the face of any mainstream professional guidelines I have been able to find, in my opinion, based on my examination of the literature. Just asserting that Charly Miller is not an “expert” is no rebuttal, since all these other experts, agencies and states have offered opinions on prone restraints that are highly consistent with hers.

The student who commented also stated:

My thoughts on this case are geared in favor of Pignotti. Everyone has a right to their own opinions and criticisms; furthermore, Federici should expect to be criticized for his technique especially due to the possible side effects (e.g., death) that may result.

Dr. Federici has yet to refute Charly’s arguments on the dangers of prone restraint. Instead he continues to personally attack and malign her for her hobbies and offer the assertion she is not an “expert”.

I am so thankful that the Virginia Federal court dismissed Federici v Pignotti et al and that I retain my right to free speech.

And no, Dr. Federici, no matter how much you want to rant and rave against us, expressing concern about your methods that you have recommended in your self-published book is not hate speech, nor is it cult-like behavior. Cult like behavior is just the opposite — the personal denigration of critics and attempts to resurrect their ancient history, rather than addressing the content of their criticism. Who does that?

Federici also maintains we think we are “above the law”. On the contrary, we live in a free country and this blog and my other blogs are perfectly legal and there are no copyright violations on the ACT website, only fair use quotes.

I’m glad to see that people are reading the actual documents from this case and learning from it. Imagine a world where people were restricted from saying the kinds of things he complained about in his complaint (see p. 12-13 for statements I made on this blog that he complained about, including the title of this blog!). Thankfully, justice was served and we don’t have to.

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