Parents Lose Custody of Disabled Adult Son for Questioning Psych Drugs
Commentary by Terri LaPoint
Health Impact News
Medical kidnapping can happen to adults as well as children. Health Impact News has reported a number of adult kidnapping stories over the years.
Some involve senior citizens. Others, like this one reported by ABC News in Raleigh, North Carolina, involve the seizure of adult children with mental illness or disability from their parents who have loved, raised, and cared for their children their entire lives.
Doctors (mostly psychiatrists) and courts have the power to step in and take over the entire lives of such individuals, isolating them from their families and ultimately deciding every aspect of their care.
Reporter Jonah Kaplan writes:
This may be the most painful symptom of mental illness and its impact on North Carolina families.
The investigative team from ABC11, the I-team, found that more than 5,000 adults in North Carolina are under state guardianship care. Most of these adults have mental or developmental disabilities or have mental illness.
The cost to taxpayers is staggering. ABC11 found that the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports that the state pays an average of $1,200 per person, per day, for each of the patients under public guardianship care.
Doctors Override Parental Decisions, Lock Up Their Son
David Bankert and Joanne Luterman are the parents of 24-year-old, Ian Bankert. They told reporters that their son was very athletic in school, on the swim team and track team. He was well-liked and did well academically. His parents noticed signs of his descent into mental illness during his high school years.
Ian graduated, then spent the next few years going in and out of the hospital. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
His parents became concerned about the doctors “overprescribing him with medication,” a concern which is shared by many parents and patients, and watchdog groups.
Doctors recommended “more medication and long-term care,” but his parents, according to ABC11, “instead insisted that a good diet, exercise and faith could restore Ian’s sense of self.”
More than that, according to a funding page set up by the parents, David Bankert and Joanne Luterman want:
to try to help our son get out of the state operated mental health system and get him on the road to recovery by way of a private doctor and team.
They are also “seeking out all other forms of help for him.” (See link.)
Dr. Stephen Ford and psychiatrist Dr. Gary B Pohl did not agree with the parents. Instead, Dr. Ford petitioned the court to take Ian away from the care of his parents.
“We were shocked and blown away,” Luterman told ABC11. “We want Ian to have some joy, to come home, lead a life with his family and have some sense of normalcy.”
Instead, their son is locked away long-term in Central Regional Hospital in Butner, North Carolina. His parents have to get permission from the guardians to visit their son.
According to the website for Central Regional Hospital:
Central Regional Hospital (CRH) is one of three State psychiatric hospitals in North Carolina. It is operated by the Division of State-Operated Healthcare Facilities (DSOHF) within the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services.
It is also a “psychiatry residency training site.”
Ian’s story is another in a long list of cases where the financial and academic interests of one group – psychiatrists and public guardians – are pitted against the civil rights and familial interests of individuals and their families.
The long arm of the state again overrides the decisions of parents who know and love their son and want what is best for him. They do not believe that locking him away from his life and loved ones and drugging him are the answer. The state does.
Parents’ Concerns over “Overmedicalization” Well-Founded
In 2016 Health Impact News published an article by Gary G. Kohls, M.D., a doctor whose words stand in stark contrast to those of the psychiatrists who have robbed Ian Bankert of his freedom and his family.
Psychiatrists have long admitted that none of their drugs ever cure anything or anyone. They also admit that there are no medical, laboratory, radiological or biopsy tests to confirm that any given psychiatric diagnosis is an actual medical condition.
There are, however, thousands of lab, radiology and biopsy tests that confirm the existence of the long-term neurotoxic effects of the multitude of synthetic psychoactive drugs that continue to be given out in combinations that have never been adequately tested for efficacy or safety – even in the animal labs.
Therefore what the courts have erroneously criminalized as parental neglect must be re-assessed by the legal system. The parent that refuses potentially hazardous psychiatric drugs for their child because they happen to know more about the drug’s dangers than their prescriber, should be supported rather than punished by the courts. And lawyers and judges interested in understanding the nature of the best neuroscience need to be increasingly mistrustful of psychiatrist “experts” who frequently have serious conflicts of interest when it comes to maintaining the prestige and/or economics of the big business of pharmaceuticals, medicine and psychiatry.
There have been more than 200 international drug regulatory agency warnings about the fact that psychiatric drugs can cause dangerous and potentially life-threatening effects (check them out here). When I was in medical practice, I was totally unaware of the existence of these warnings, so I suspect that most over-worked physicians and psychiatrists today are equally unaware. Undoubtedly, lawyers and judges are in the same boat.
Does Prescribing Anti-psychotic Drugs to Infants, Toddlers and Young Children Meet the Definition of Reckless Endangerment?
Doctors do not agree even among themselves in regards to many medical conditions that are more easily quantified than psychological disorders. The philosophy of conventional medicine has challengers among many different fields, such as homeopathy, chiropractic, faith healing, Eastern medicine, herbal medicine, nutritional healing, and countless other health modalities.
Health Impact News has published hundreds of articles chronicling the stories of people who have suffered abuse at the hands of psychiatrists and other doctors with whom they or their parents disagree. See here and here.
The advocacy group, Citizens Commission on Human Rights, has reported that professional psychiatrists are among the top white collar criminal groups in the United States, committing 40% of all Healthcare Fraud, and incarcerating over 700,00 people against their will every year.
6 to 10 percent of psychiatrists and psychologists sexually abuse their patients, including children as young as three, and the sexual crimes committed by psychiatrists are estimated at 37 times greater than rapes occurring in the general community, according to one U.S. law firm. (Source.)
North Carolina is not alone in its policy of allowing doctors and guardians to kidnap family members and lock them away, isolating citizens from everyone they know and love, based on the testimony of a doctor who doesn’t like parental decisions.
According to North Carolina law, health care professionals can petition a court to revoke guardianship from a patient’s parents or legal guardian, and instead assign a public guardian to manage the patients’ medical care.
‘Our thoughts were, no way’
David Bankert and Joanne Luterman are two such parents who approached the I-Team about their experience losing guardianship for their son, Ian.
“He never did drugs, he never smoked, he never drank alcohol,” Luterman said of Ian’s high school years.
“He was such a good kid. Then what happened was when he went in the hospital the first time, they forced him to have these medications. In his mind, it was a very adverse event for him. Very traumatizing.”
Dr. Ford cites several reasons for petitioning the court to revoke guardianship, including missed appointments and what the doctor calls “aggressive behavior,” including an instance where he describes Ian punched his father, David.
Both parties met before a judge in Wake County Court for Special Proceedings in December; the hearing lasted three days and included more than 12 hours of testimony.
The judge, while acknowledging the parents’ love and attention for their son, ultimately ruled that Bankert and Luterman were “unsuitable” to continue as Ian’s guardians, citing Ian’s frequent hospital visits and “the inability of the doctors and staff at the hospital to provide necessary treatment” for Ian.
Now 18 months later, Bankert and Luterman remain steadfast in their opposition to the ruling.
“They took parents and guardian who know their son very well, who know the medications very well and know how the medications affect him very well, and care about him more than anyone else in the world.”
Read the full article at ABC11.
Read more of the family’s story in their own words here.
See our other coverage of young adults seized by the state and placed under guardianship:
Medical Kidnapping in Missouri: 25 Year Old Daughter Forced onto Drugs and Committed to Mental Facility
See our coverage of elder citizens seized by the state and placed under guardianship:
Massachusetts Senior Citizen and Attorney Medically Kidnapped – Estate Plundered – Represents National Epidemic
Husband of Retired Missouri Couple Medically Kidnapped – Estate Plundered to Pay for Unwanted Medical Confinement
Medical Murder? Massachusetts Woman Medically Kidnapped from Her Home Dies After Being Denied Medical Intervention
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