H.R.4919 passes; Human Tracking Bill

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by rshrugged, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    This, on the surface, paved with good intentions bill, fails to acknowledge the law of unintended consequences. Tracking someone with specific medical needs should be a private matter. The potential for expansion of tracking to those labeled mentally unstable for what they think, or because they're "different", has been part of dystopian literature for decades.

    The recent election in the US was filled with labeling of candidates and voters. It went beyond bashing the opponent. People were, and still are, labeled as narcissistic, along with other psychological or quasi psychological terminologies, merely because of political difference. It's not a reach to imagine the potential for abuse.

    The bill has been received by the Senate.



    https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/4919/text
     
  2. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020

    A.Goldberg

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    #2
    Working in the field of mental health, at a hospital with a worldclass Alzheimer's and Autism unit, I don't think this is a bad idea. I think it is important though that some of these (presumably) severely congnitively impaired individuals may not like having a GPS strapped to their leg or whatever. This population can be very sensitive to such things. If the memory impaired man forgets why the device is there, he may become very frightened. Many austic people tend to be very sensitive to what is touching them. There are however people who could tremendously benefit from this technology though.

    It's not clear to me what this bill is suggesting, but I guess I'm not sure why the government would be managing this and not a private company- or if the government is just paving the road for the private industry.

    We do a lot of drug and alchocohol/+dual diagnosis work. For at least the past couple years many of our outpatients have been part of the Soberlink program. Basically it's a breathalyzer with a cellular connection, GPS, and camera. A set of random schedule can be created to breathalyze the individual. They get a text they have to submit a test and have a certain amount of time. The system records the time, location, and test results. There is a camera with facial recognition to ensure the person blowing is indeed the patient. These things are super expensive + a hefty service cost, but are very effective in monitoring the sobriety (at least when it comes to alcohol) of these patients. I know these have also been used as part of probation programs and court cases.

    I wouldn't be too concerned about the government overstepping their bounds in terms of diagnosis. The field of psychiatry has been increasingly less stringent in their diagnoses. I don't think anyone could justify strappinng a GPS on a narcisstic person. For a psychological condition to exist, it must either cause distress to the individual or endanger themselves or others.

    While you might be afraid the government will track people for unncessary reasons, I imagine they'd be similar to the reasons that already exist for involuntary commitment or custodial care in the first place. So in other words, I'd think they could only reasonably expect people who have already had their indepence removed and are being cared for by others. If insurance is expected to pick up the tab, you can bet it will be reserved for the strictest of guidelines.

    If this technology can better help caregivers manage their cases and prevent people with such mental health conditions from becoming fully institutionalized (which is associated with tremendous costs and often worse outcomes), then it's definitely worth something investigating.
     
  3. DearthnVader macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

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    #3
    When you're a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail. How would you like it if I tracked you, because you are a jew, and the government deems belief in God to be a mental illness?
     
  4. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020

    A.Goldberg

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    #4
    I kind of addressed that point. I'm not entirely sure why it's the government that is pushing this. This seems more like it should be a voluntary (to the caregiver, as the affected population sound like they'd have probably custodians) private industry sort of thing.

    This certainly is not a one size must fit all program or something that I think is reasonable or feasible for everyone.

    I think we're a long way away from the "government" deeming religion a mental illness. If the government wanted to track or find me, I'm sure between my tax info (home address, place of employment), cell phone, EZPass highway toll system, etc, it probably wouldn't be too hard.
     
  5. noisycats macrumors 6502a

    noisycats

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    #5
    Well since the government is nearly all GOP controlled at this point, we have nothing to worry about, right? I mean, who is more freedom loving then Republicans?
     
  6. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    #6
    I see what they're doing and I agree with the need for this in certain medical situations.

    https://www.autismspeaks.org/advocacy/advocacy-news/critical-safety-legislation-passes-us-senate
    "The U.S. Senate yesterday passed S. 2614, Kevin and Avonte's Law, legislation that would help safeguard children with autism or other developmental disabilities from wandering. According to a recent national survey, a third of school-age children with autism had wandered away from caregivers."

    https://www.angelsense.com/blog/kev...-safeguard-children-autism-dangers-wandering/

    The Senate already passed their version (S.2614) and this is the House's response.
    The reconciliation process is next and then another vote will have to occur.


    "Official Title as Introduced:
    To amend the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, to reauthorize the Missing Alzheimer's Disease Patient Alert Program, and to promote initiatives that will reduce the risk of injury and death relating to the wandering characteristics of some children with autism."
     
  7. DearthnVader, Dec 14, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016

    DearthnVader macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

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    #7
    One persons wandering, is another persons trying to get away from a abusive situation.

    The Nazi's had their way of dealing with the mentally ill, and the Jews.

    https://www.ushmm.org/outreach/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007683
     
  8. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    #8
    Save the drama. :rolleyes:

    Read the bill... it is very limited in scope. it adds persons with autism to the existing Alzheimers law.
    It does not cover all persons deemed mentally ill.

    And if you've ever had a family member with Alzheimers or autism (I have family members in both categories), you wold understand why this law makes sense.
    They can be a real danger to themselves.
     
  9. rshrugged thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Tracking certain people because of specific medical needs is an event(s) most of us will face in our lifetime. However, that's a private matter, not a government one.

    This might or might not be a proper use of tools as a means of monitoring and/or rehabilitating someone who has proven to be a direct danger to others. That type of device has added complexities as compared to a simple tracking device; honestly I don't know how far the technology has advanced, but I know that it has (and will continue to do so) in its overall efficacy.

    I'm not as optimistic that government, either because of direct voter request or as a result of the bureaucratic inertia of the moment regardless of voter ascent, will not overstep its bounds.

    I'm also not confident that psychiatry as a whole, or some segment thereof, will always do the proper thing. Homosexuality was long considered a mental disorder by the profession and used as a supporting source by government, and voters, to justify laws against its practice. There's also been numerous incidents of using the profession and its credentials for involuntary experimentation (heading = Psychological and torture experiments).

    Although there's not (other than wards of the state) direct government involvement in what many would say is the over-medicating of mostly boys because of an ADHD diagnosis, the education field's observational input, whether by teachers or by other government education industry employees, certainly is an influential element of diagnosis.

    There was also the alliance between government and psychology/psychiatry during the recovered memory syndrome and ritual child sexual abuse "crisis". Those wronged, as a result of attempts to alleviate the "crisis", suffered from the consequences of that alliance and suffered from the public's misplaced trust in the alliance.

    I'm sure you're familiar with the controversy surrounding the DSM in general, and the DSM 5 in particular. There's been an expansion of behaviors that are considered to be "disorders".

    Acknowledging the politics of psychiatry and their contextual influence both in and on government policy is a wise approach to take rather than to easily accept the word of government bureaucrats, office holders and credentialed professionals to expand government control in our lives.

    Please understand, this is not a slam on you or any other specific caregiver. I've had family and friends on both sides of the therapeutic equation who've had good and bad results. In most of the bad result cases, only the individuals and those in their orbit were immediately negatively affected. When government has a role, because of its monopoly on the initiation of force, every individual in the country suffers the consequences, whether they be intended ones or not.

    I'm with you on the use of technology and fully appreciate the benefit it will and can be. But government should have no role in it. It will be difficult to keep it out because some citizens will encourage or accept its usage. They'll probably be usage at some point on people who become wards of the state and are labeled with some type of medical condition and/or have been convicted of an offense. Any new "crisis" could spread its usage with the best of intentions.

    This election cycle, and its aftermath, has been hyper emotional. Labeling people, including by one of mental illness, was done by professionals and nonprofessionals alike. It's not a new phenomenon, but to me, it seems to have grown more widespread and the populace in general seems more willing to participate in it as a means of denigrating those with whom they disagree. There seems to be less effort to break things down, in a philosophical sense, through discussion with opponents even if it will probably end with an agreement to disagree. Labels have always existed of course, but we've reached the point that they're used as opposing First Principles of debate in the public square. The labels can be political ists of one kind or another, or can be a label generated by the politics of psychology. In either case, the disagreement is so strong that I think a side in the political debate, after gaining the reins of power and under the guise (deliberate or not) of crisis, could use tracking to help their opponents find their way. Not likely, but certainly possible.

    Human tracking should be a private decision and should be paid for privately.

    I'm gonna take a few grams of soma and ask Siri how I should proceed with my day. : -)
     
  10. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020

    A.Goldberg

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    #10
    These are the arguments that are really weak for me. Because phsychaitry was basically a nonscientific, barbaric practice of the past, that contemporary treatment cannot be trusted or whatever. Medicine as a whole has a very ugly history based in pseudoscience and unethical practices.

    If you look at the history of psychiatric medicine things have become increasingly more tolerant and accepting- in just about every regard. Social opinion has influenced all fields of medicine and science. Homosexuality was once a mental disease, some people still believe it is. Abortion was once illegal. Transgenderism was a mental condition, now its not technically one. The labeling of conditions has become a topic of concern.

    Honestly, any professional who has publically written an article about a political candidates health (Trumps mental health, Clinton's physical health) without actually meeting with them should not be taken seriously. It's impossible to diagnose someone like that.

    I think it's a very sad place where Americans are so afraid of their government that they think this will result in some sort of breech of privacy and be used for nefarious purpose.

    The people who this bill should be helping likely have no privacy and little freedom to start off with. But I do agree, this should be something managed by private companies, not the government. People who are arrested for a crime can already monitored with ankle bracelets.
     
  11. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #11
    This is one of those things that is a truly terrifying precedent. It's a door best left shut by the government - went is it any of their business, other than as a precedent?
     
  12. Solomani macrumors 68040

    Solomani

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    #12
    Revelation 13:16

    And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead.
     
  13. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

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    #13
    Like others here I understand why it could be so useful to regain contact with someone with Alzheimers or severe forms of autism, whose behavior might endanger themselves or put others in danger when unaccompanied in public. But the precedent has that old feeling to me of opening a box you can't close again, can just add more stuff to it "as a safeguard" going down the road.

    As my anti-death penalty screeds always go, what if some administration decides to make another category of crime a capital crime. How about embezzlement. How about grand theft auto. Yeah give a few of them the needle, that will slow those kids right down. /S

    So back to tracking: what if some administration decides to make another category of "disability" one that warrants tracking? How about all recovering drug addicts and alcoholics with fewer than two years in recovery. How about anyone with bipolar disorder. How about anyone crazy enough to ever have marched in front of the White House...

    Ah, see what I did there?
     
  14. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020

    A.Goldberg

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    #14
    It seems like most everyone here is in agreement this is not the governments business to get into.

    @LizKat, I do think some of the fears are a bit hysteric. If someone is bipolar they can be involuntarily hospitalized (assuming they meet certain criteria - which can actually be difficult in stituations where it should happen). In the State of Massachusetts, we are one of the few places where active drug addicts can involuntarily committed to treatment by their family members under a law called Section 35. Tracking might be one thing, but involuntary commitment is another.

    Again, I'm not sure the governments role in this and how far it extends. If they want to create the opportunity for private companies offer this service, great. If the government is looking to operate this industry- I'm not a fan. For privacy issues, expansion issues, and the fact the government just sucks at running anything. It seems like the people that this law would apply to people likely already be under custodial care or parental guardianship due to their mental defect. In which sense I'm not sure how much legal process would need to be involved to approve people for tracking.
     
  15. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #15
    This bill only applies to parents and caregivers who choose to apply for a subsidized tracking device.

    Those devices already exist. This is nothing new, except for a way of helping people pay for the expensive devices, and allocating grants to local municipalities to educate the public about the existence of the program.

    Some government programs are an invasion of the public's privacy and an intrusion on our civil liberties. This isn't one of them.
     

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