My question involves civil rights in the State of: NY
My young son (mid 20's) was taken to a private non-profit, non-sectarian hospital at my request by the police 1 month ago when he stopped taking medication. Since the first day I observed disorder at the inpatient psychiatric section where he is being held.
He never drinks or eat the hospital's food so I, the mother, bring him food and water everyday as that is the only food and water he will consume. The clinic allows visitations for 2 hours everyday. Everyday after I feed him I would leave him 1 small bottle of sealed spring water so he can drink till my next visit as I started to noticed signs of dehydration (peeling skin). My son does not speak to anybody including myself due to his condition except on rare occasions.
It all started when I started noticing that the small sealed bottle of spring water starting going missing every day. Aside from not talking he also does not get out of bed at all so I figured maybe he is drinking the water and the staff come in and take the empty bottle away. It wasn't until the 4th missing bottle that I was informed by his roommate that the staff come in and take the sealed bottles of spring water. I noticed that when I leave him things that are not sealed they remain the next day, but the sealed products such as the spring water or yogurt goes missing. This was the first thing I complained about to the doctor on the floor. This question was resolved and they stopped stealing the water.
When he was first admitted to the hospital he would not shower for a period of 1 week so I asked the staff to assist him in showering. After they forcibly showered him once, he told me that he was forcibly showered last night and started showering on his own. I informed the staff immediately that forced showers are no longer necessary as he is doing it on his own now. Despite my request the next week they forcibly shower him again. My son reported this to me and once again, I asked the staff to stop. The fourth week, my son informs me that he has been forcibly showered once more, he was crying and would tell me nothing else. I observed that he was no longer in his own attire (which I brought from home) and instead was wearing somebody else's clothing (a t-shirt and pajama pants). This was not the hospitals standard clothing or robe but most likely some other patient's. His own shirt, pajamas and underwear which he was wearing prior to the forced shower we're missing and nowhere to be found. I headed over to the front desk and asked the staff member about where his clothes were, why he was in somebody elses clothing, and why was he forcibly showered for the third time despite me asking to stop twice now. This is when a black women comes of somewhere and asks me "what happened this time?" I start explaining but after 1 sentence she screams out "EXCUSEEEEEEE ME!, EXCUSEEEEEEEEEE ME!, EXCUSEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ME!". I simply replied with, it's ok forget it. As she interrupted me and showed me disrespect, I no longer wanted to speak with this women. I turned around and went back to my son's room to continue feeding him.
15 minutes later this same black women storms into my son's room with two spanish security personnel and another women. One of the security personnel tells me that I need to leave the hospital immediately. I asked them why do I have to leave and why did you storm into my sons room? Instead of answering my questions the security personnel showed a hand gesture towards the door and said leave now or we will call the police. My son started crying, shaking and was terrified. I bid farewell to my son and walked out and asked once again, why do I have to leave? The security told me "the nurse (the black women) asked me to take you out of the building because you did not show her respect". I got to the elevator, and while the elevator was coming up I asked the security the name of this nurse. The security answered that I will receive the information on the first floor. This was when he grabbed me on the right hand very tight and it hurt and signaled to the second security to grab my left hand. I said, what are you doing? Why are you touching me? They did not reply, the elevator came up and when it opened the security personnel pushed me into the elevator with force then walked in after. I started crying.
On the first floor I was given the name of the black women nurse and I also took the names of the two security personnel. I went home. The next day I received a call 9 in the morning from the hospital and was informed that my visitation rights have been restricted until further notice with the reason given was that I was being disruptive to the patients on the floor as well as bothering the staff on duty which prevents them from working. I asked if they have an order which allows them to do this, they told me as this is a private closed inpatient psychiatric hospital, they don't need an order. In regards to being disruptive to the fellow patients on the floor, I have no idea why they would say this as I never talk to any of the other patients there. In regards to bothering the staff, it is my duty as a mother to make sure my son get's the proper care he deserves and if I notice something out of place I will report it and I will try to get to the bottom of it. Now if the staff don't want to be bothered then they should have listened to me the first time I asked them to stop the forced showers.
Now that I can't visit my son he will be hungry and thirsty. He is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and is very scared and nervous and now I won't be able to come and comfort him. I also can't take him out of the hospital as he was brought in involuntarily.
On a side note, on several occasions I observed the black staff members on the floor violently pushing a non-english speaking elderly lady (70s-80s) back down into her seat when she tried to get up. I assume she is not allowed to walk as she might fall so that is why they do not allow her to stand up. But still, they should not be pushing her back down like that. I understand they might be agitated from having to perform the same task over and over again but maybe she got Alzheimers? If they were humans they would instead take her by the hands and walk around with her a little or at least take her gently and sit her back down. But all that is beside the point, if they get agitated from having to sit a patient back down multiple times a day they should not be working in the hospital with the sick. Seeing as my son never tells me anything I can only imagine how he is being treated.
If I (ever) will be allowed to visit my son again, I will no longer attempt to resolve problems with the staff on the floor even though it is probably their duty to do so. I will try to have everything resolved through the hospitals administration. I am not sure what to do with the current situation at hand, is there someplace I can write a complaint to the way I was treated? I would like to see this nurse which escalated the situation fired. Also, are they legally able to keep a mother from visiting her son like this?
If anyone has any information that can help me with this matter, I would really appreciate it.