29 March 2014

Uptown Radio Interview: Autistic People Demand Support As Diagnoses Rise

Live from Amman on Uptown Radio at the Columbia University School of Journalism! (Thanks to s.e. smith for passing my name along!)



This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Katie Toth from Uptown Radio about the CDC's new report on the rate of autism diagnoses in the United States. You can check out the interview on Uptown Radio's website or the my transcript below! 

KATIE TOTH: A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that diagnoses of autism in children have gone up one-third in the last two years alone but that does -- that is not necessarily a rise in the number of cases. Some experts believe the higher rates reflect a heightened focus on autism by parents, doctors, and teachers that may be resulting in more children getting diagnosed. But the report also highlighted disparities in the number of white children diagnosed as autistic compared with people of color. And while 1 in 42 boys are diagnosed, the number is way lower for girls, 1 in 189. Lydia Brown is a disability advocate and student at Georgetown University who was diagnosed with autism herself at age 13. She points to our society's stereotypes as a possible reason for the disparity.

LYDIA BROWN: There are a lot of prevailing stereotypes about gender to begin with, even when you take autism or disability out of the equation. There are stereotypes about what it means to be a normal boy versus what it means to be a normal girl. If you're a girl or you're a woman, you're more expected to assimilate, to be quieter, to be in the background, and if you don't speak up much, if you're very quiet, that's just considered, oh, you're just being a shy girl. And because of that, a lot of times, characteristics that might stand out in an autistic boy compared to neurotypical boys might be overlooked in autistic girls.

KATIE TOTH: Looking forward, in terms of seeing this rise in diagnoses, what's this going to mean for people in the autistic community?

LYDIA BROWN: Well, moving forward, the study does show that there continue to be a lot of disparities in terms of who is able to access a diagnosis, and while I personally do not believe in using or structuring the medical establishment as the gateway for who can be considered autistic, the reality is that access to services such as the educational system, such as  vocational services, and other developmental disability related services require documentation--meaning a diagnosis on paper. And because of that, it is critically important that we increase access to diagnosis and diagnostic services for communities, particular those that are already underrepresented, as women, those who might be sexual minorities, people of color. Even the most recent numbers that just came out, the 1 in 68 number, white children were 30% more likely to be diagnosed ahead of Black children and the numbers are also fairly low for Hispanic children. For example, we already know that in the United States if you are a person of color, you automatically face enormous societal barriers in the form of structural racism and how it plays out in public policy, and because of that it is critically important to expand access to diagnoses and the availability of diagnostic services because the same communities that are already being hurt in other areas are further harmed when you happen to be autistic as well as a person of color and you're unable to access services because you are not in a position to access a diagnosis in the first place.

KATIE TOTH: You've sort of found a very tight-knit community online. You've been very much an online presence and an advocate. I'm wondering sort of how that support and how that community changed your life?

LYDIA BROWN: Had it not been for the very vibrant presence of the autistic and disabled communities online, I never would have been able to connect not only with people who were like me and shared experiences with me, but also with ideas that were able to politicize my understanding of my identity as an autistic and disabled person.

KATIE TOTH: Thank you so much Lydia.

LYDIA BROWN: You too, thank you very much, have a wonderful day.

KATIE TOTH: Lydia Brown is an autistic disability rights activist. She was named a Champion of Change by the White House in 2013.

12 March 2014

I am autistic, and I am obsessed with violence.

Trigger warning: Discussion of murder, other violence, ableism, various mass shootings, mention of rape, discussion of forced psychiatric treatment, brief description of the JRC, terrorism, 9/11, probably a lot of other triggers.


I am autistic, and I am obsessed with violence.
A response to Andrew Solomon's article about his interviews with Peter Lanza in The New Yorker 


An old man falls to his death from a cliff, staring in horror and despair at his loved one standing on the edge.

This is one of my first memories of playing pretend games with my younger sister.

In other pretend games, I wanted to be a man wrongfully accused of being a spy and then sentenced to death, or sometimes a robber caught by the police and then sent to prison. In preschool, I became obsessed with Disney’s Snow White. One day at school, I gave everyone little clumps of play dough and told them it was poisoned, just like the poisoned apple in the movie. The teacher called my parents.

In second grade, I started a pretend game with my friends where my character drank poisoned water, turned into a demon, and started chasing her children. My first stories, written between kindergarten and sixth grade, involved abandoned children, abusive siblings, poisonings, assassinations, prison escapes, and horrible torture.

In eighth grade, I wrote my first novel. The plotline follows the tyrannical dictator of one country who decides to murder a well-loved official in the country next door, frame someone else for the crime, and then use the distraction as an excuse to invade.

The same year, I read Helter Skelter, the true crime story of the Charles Manson cult murders written by Vincent Bugliosi, who was the prosecutor in the case. When I brought the book to school, one of the teachers took me aside and told me that was inappropriate reading.

When I started high school, I wrote my second novel, which starts with the assassination of the U.S. President by a terrorist group.



Image description: A very young me, fifth grade, sitting in the classroom with my sleeve against my lips, reading a book in the Animorphs series while other books and binders are piled on my desk. Photo by Rebecca Taplin. I'm wearing a school uniform, long sleeve maroon polo shirt, khaki pants. Behind me are shelves with messily arranged binders and notebooks.


After the Virginia Tech shootings by Seung-Hui Cho, Cho’s writing assignments became a huge deal in the media. His two short plays were full of profanity and violence. I read them when one news source uploaded copies online.

I didn’t know how to express the feelings I had at the time, but I think I’m beginning to understand now.

This week, The New Yorker ran an exclusive article by Andrew Solomon about his interviews with Peter Lanza, the father of the Sandy Hook shooter. In parts of the article, Solomon lingers on Adam Lanza’s apparent obsession with violence. According to Peter, his son was obsessed with genocide, serial killers, and mass murder. He wrote extremely violent fiction on top of reading extensively about other people’s real violence.

Solomon, who is also the author of the recent nonfiction book Far From The Tree (problematic for other reasons), wonders whether these should have been taken as warning signs. Peter is more direct when he talks about his son and whether his killing spree could have been predicted, and presumably stopped, before it happened.

I read Solomon’s descriptions of Adam, and I was crying because most of what he wrote could have been written about me if you changed the names. When he suggested that Adam’s obsession with reading and writing about extreme violence could have been a warning sign, I became terrified. Not because I’m afraid that people in power will start using that as an excuse for hurting people like me, but because I know they already do and I’m afraid it will happen even more.


Believe me, I understand what it’s like to be desperate for answers, for an explanation, when tragedy happens. While I am not the surviving relative of a high-profile mass murderer, I experience total devastation and complete obsession with finding an explanation in the aftermath of any outbreak of horrible violence. Every time. It’s hard to put the feeling into words, but the phrases that come to mind are ones like these: a thousand punches to the gut, complete frantic overload in my brain, nameless things dismantle.

Like many other autistics, I am deeply empathetic, and easily and often overwhelmed by emotional overload. I experience the emotions of people around me – no matter whether I know them or whether they’re strangers – as though they are my own emotions, and that’s on top of and combined with the ones that came from me first.

I was only eight years old when September 11 happened, but as an American citizen living near Boston, it would have been impossible for the terrorist attacks not to affect me.

I say I understand the desperate, obsessive search for answers because I have lived it.

The events of September 11 lit a fire in me and I became desperate to understand, intellectually and emotionally, just why it happened and what reasons the attackers had when they did it. For the next ten years, I became obsessed with the topic of Islamic-inspired terrorism. If an article, book, or website existed that covered the topic – no matter whose point of view it was from – I read every word with fascination. That interest led me to explore the history and reality of other forms of terrorism, including Christian-inspired terrorism, state-sponsored terrorism, eco-terrorism, just about any kind of terrorism that’s ever been named.

The same interest also led me to explore Islam itself as a religion, as the basis for many cultures and civilizations, and as a social and legal system. At the same time, I also became extremely interested in learning about national security policy, counterterrorism operations, and the role of anti-brown racism and Islamophobia as tools of white supremacy and American imperialism. By the time I was in twelfth grade, I decided that I wanted to study Islamic Studies in college and later go on to study for a PhD focusing on Sufi music in Pakistan.

Right now, I’m an Arabic major studying abroad in Amman, Jordan, and this is a direct result of my long obsession with understanding why and how September 11 happened.



Image description: Me with serious expression wearing a gray t-shirt against a black background, holding both my arms in front of my body. Text that I wrote in black pen says, "I don't understand how many people can hate" in English on one arm and in Arabic on the other arm. Photo by Robert X. Fogarty for the Dear World Project at Georgetown University in March 2012. 


After the Virginia Tech shootings, I read news articles that described Seung-Hui Cho as a socially awkward loner who had been bullied in the past. As much as I empathized with his victims and their living loved ones, I also instinctively empathized with him too.

This doesn’t mean that I’m somehow okay with murder or that I think he’s less guilty or that his crimes should be excused or ignored. It just means that my empathy is not selective, and I don’t think that that’s a bad thing.


Both Peter Lanza and Andrew Solomon said outright that autism shouldn’t be treated as if it’s related to Adam’s killing spree. But that doesn’t change the tone of the article at all, which talks about Adam’s diagnosis and various autistic characteristics in a way that reminds me of a freak show, or a post-mortem zoo exhibit. If the fact that Adam was autistic isn’t related to the fact that he killed twenty-six people, then why spend so much time focusing on his autistic traits in an article that’s mostly about his father’s attempt to figure out why and how this happened?

Plenty of readers will read the disclaimer that autism didn’t play a role in the killing spree, and they’ll roll their eyes or shake their heads or something like that, because they’ll read the same damn article and they’ll ask the same damn question, only their answer will be different. Their conclusion will be, of course it was relevant. Of course it was related. Some people will be aware that they’ve reached that conclusion, and other people will do it subconsciously. The result will be the same, though.

They’ll read about the report from a professional that said Adam was more likely to become a victim, and they’ll laugh. They’ll laugh even though it’s true. Of course, statistics don’t change the fact that he actually became a victimizer, but statistically, overall, people like him and people like me are at such high risk of becoming victims of violence and abuse. That’s true across the board for disabled people, no matter whether we’re talking about autism or mental illness. You don’t have to read academic studies to know that (though the studies do exist) because if you live in a society where one way of existing is normal and everything else is treated as less than, anyone who falls into that “everything else” category is going to be more vulnerable. That’s the way systems of power work.

Solomon may have intended to try to humanize both Peter and Adam in his article. He probably intended to do the same thing with the many different types of people he wrote about in Far From The Tree. But his intentions don’t change the reality of his writing, which, for me, is completely devastating and completely dehumanizing. And not just for autistics but for people with mental illness too. Autistics got a half-hearted disclaimer that autism isn’t related to violence. People with mental illness got thrown under the bus.

And the best phrase I can think of to describe how he talks in so much detail about Adam’s sensory aversions to sounds and textures is “morbid fascination.” In the course of my activism, I’ve met so many people, most but not all autistic, who could also fit a lot of these descriptions perfectly too.


One of my favorite hobbies is text-based roleplaying, which is basically like writing stories but with other people. Some people treat it more like a competitive game, and other people like to treat it more like a big group writing project better. The roleplays that interest me the most are the ones that explore the same topics that I’m interested in outside roleplay: state violence, terrorism, torture, abuse, human rights violations, rape and other sexual violence, and mass murder.

I’m writing my seventh novel right now. Much of the novel focuses on war crimes and genocide along ethnic and religious lines.

If you didn’t know me, if you read Andrew Solomon’s article and the hundreds of others like it, if you didn’t understand that it’s totally possible to be fascinated and obsessed with individual and systemic violence and yet not be violent personally, then you might wonder too if I’m going to be the next Adam Lanza or Anders Behring Breivik or Seung-Hui Cho or James Holmes.

When I was in tenth grade, I was called into an administrator’s office and accused of planning a school shooting. When I told him that of course I wasn’t planning a school shooting, he pointed out that I seemed to be obsessed with weapons and violence, and then he asked me if I was sure I’d never thought about actually hurting someone.

When I was in twelfth grade, my mom told me that there were people in the church who thought I was planning to join Al Qaeda or some other terrorist group.

These things are real, and they prove to me that my fears – both for myself and other people – aren’t unfounded.



Image description: Me wearing a white t-shirt, standing in a room with windows facing a hallway with elevators and various college flyers. I'm looking down and holding a sign handwritten in purple ink that says, "I'm not afraid to say I'm autistic." Photo by Shain Neumeier in December 2012.


I don’t claim to understand everyone’s motives. If I did, there wouldn’t be any more obsessive quests for answers after each and every act of mass violence I’ve ever learned about since September 11.

But I can say with certainty that it’s not mental illness or autism or an interest in violence or being bullied or social awkwardness or violent roleplaying or violent video games or violent creative writing that lead to mass murder. Those aren’t warning signs. They shouldn’t be treated as warning signs.

There’s so much ableism and ageism wrapped up in the assumption that these things are somehow predictors of future violence. Ironically, those same assumptions are used to justify real violence against people like me, and often by the people who in theory are supposed to protect us.


Does Peter Lanza have a right to his opinions, thoughts, and emotions? Of course he does. I’m the last person to say that his experiences and emotions are not valid.

But that doesn’t make them any less hurtful. It doesn’t make Andrew Solomon’s article any less painful.

The two most painful things in that article for me to read were when Solomon asked Peter what the family did about a funeral for Adam, and Peter said that no one would ever know, and then when Peter said that he wishes Adam had never been born.

Maybe the family did host a funeral for Adam. Maybe they didn’t. I wasn’t there during the interview, so I don’t know how Peter said that comment, but at least in writing, it came across as so cold and so callous, and I – I couldn’t form words.

And as to the second comment – we have no way of knowing when someone is born if that person is going to be a wonderful amazing human being who helps many people or if that person is going to turn into a horrible person who does horrible things to other people. It’s so easy to say after the fact that you wish someone hadn’t been born.

But when the parent of a young man who obviously did have many disabilities says that, even though his son was a mass murderer who killed twenty children, just how close in time this article was published to the March 1 vigils in memory of hundreds of disabled people (plenty of them autistic) murdered by their parents only gives this statement a chilling underline.



Image description: Me wearing a dark blue winter coat, a beige suit jacket, and an ochre shirt, with a blue lanyard and beige gloves, facing slightly away from the camera while speaking. I'm standing in front of a large poster that says "Mourn for the Dead ...And Fight Like Hell" for the Living followed by a list of victims' names, ages at death, and manner of murder. Photo by Kory Otto-Jacobs at DC Day of Mourning Vigil in Farragut Square on Friday 1 March 2013 as part of the National Day of Mourning for disabled people murdered by caregivers and family members.


In the interview, Peter Lanza talked quite a bit about how Adam never came to terms with the Asperger’s/autistic diagnosis.

There’s no way to know, but I can’t help but wonder whether being able to accept being autistic and be around other affirming autistic people might have changed the course of events.


For all the constant media pattern of assuming that someone who kills a lot of people must be autistic or mentally ill, two of Adam Lanza’s victims, Josephine “Joey” Gay and Dylan Hockley, were autistic too.

In the rush to railroad autistic people, the media often conveniently forgets that fact.


Both Andrew Solomon and Peter Lanza kept emphasizing that maybe if Adam had received treatment, this might not have happened. I can’t underscore enough how damaging this is for so many people.

First of all, Representative Tim Murphy’s bill in Congress right now, if passed, will severely cut funding for community-based programs supporting people with mental illnesses as well as the advocacy agencies that exist to protect people’s rights.

This bill comes after his hearing almost an entire year ago when witness after witness kept testifying to his committee about how horrible and dangerous people with mental illnesses are, and only one brave witness dared say something different.

Secondly, the sad and extremely violent reality is that the vast majority of therapy and program options for people with mental illness are coercive, demeaning, and paternalistic.

Thirdly, this article reinforces the social presumption that the default option for mental illness is and should be psychiatric treatment. And while I absolutely support the right of anyone who wants psychiatric treatment of any kind to access that treatment on their own terms, the reality is that not everyone wants to go that route and that’s okay.

Fourthly, there is the reality that this article, written by a famous journalist in a well-known publication, will be treated as an authority, and that the statements in it can and will lead to even more stigma and less voluntary options for people who do seek out psychiatric treatment.

These are realities and consequences that profoundly disturb me.


I can tell you why I am obsessed with violence.

It is because I am also completely and absolutely committed to the ideal of justice.

There was a long time after September 11 when I dreamed about a career in counterterrorism, with the idea that I could help stop future attacks.

The broad theme of my work for the past five years has been addressing violence against disabled people, especially disabled people made even more vulnerable because they also happen to be queer, trans, poor, immigrants, or people of color. Violence against us happens all the time, both by other people in the community and by government forces.

My work is emotionally exhausting.

Every so often, I receive an email out of nowhere from someone asking for help because they or their kid are in an abusive situation at school or work.

Writing and roleplaying about individual and systemic violence, and how it impacts everyone in the community, helps me process my emotions. In fact, it’s the only thing that actually works for me. It’s not that I take sadistic pleasure out of writing about violent things or that I secretly wish I could do violent things to people I’ve met.

It’s part of the same obsession with understanding why and how and what next. I wasn’t exaggerating when I said that I understand the desperate search for answers in the wake of violence. That desperate search has been the narrative for much of my conscious life.



Image description: Shain Neumeier, white person with short blond hair and glasses, and I standing on a traffic island in the middle of a multi-lane highway on an overcast day. We're holding hand-drawn and colored signs to protest the abusive Judge Rotenberg Center, which uses painful electric shock as punishment/behavioral modification for disabled residents. Shain's sign says "Stop the Shocks" with lightning bolts cutting through the o's, and I'm holding two signs, one that says "People not Experiments" and the other that says "Shocked for... hugging staff, swearing, nagging, getting out of seat, taking off coat, screaming, tensing up, closing eyes, raising hand. Ban the GED [electric shock device]." Photo by Taylor C. Hall, January 2013.


In the end, I’ve started asking different questions. It’s less often, “Why did this mass tragedy happen?” and more often, “Why do people insist that the only people capable of committing such horrible crimes must be an Other?” and “Why do we treat specific instances of mass tragedies as both more important and more horrible than the continuous and brutal violence against marginalized people?”

I don’t mean to belittle the real victimhood of people killed by mass murderers or the pain for their living loved ones. I don’t mean to belittle the internal struggle that must happen for anyone who finds out someone they loved or knew well was responsible for those killings either.

But the questions are worth asking because they, too, carry life or death consequences. They carry consequences for my life and my experiences, and they carry consequences for those of so many of my friends and colleagues too.  

I don’t want my children to grow up in a world where they have to worry about whether their teachers or bosses will peg them as the next mass shooters if they just happen to be loners, socially awkward, interested in violent games, autistic, or mentally ill. If my children are autistic or mentally ill or both, I don’t want them to grow up in a world where their humanity is questioned every single day, or where police brutality based on their disability status could end their lives.

The fact that much of the response to a horrific act of violence has been to encourage more violence is not merely astounding, but extremely sad.

The worst part of all of this is knowing that no matter what I say or do or write here, the people who have power in media and politics will carry on with their dehumanizing campaign, and I – we – don’t stand a chance when these things are simply accepted as true and normal and how things are.

If you’re reading this essay, all I can ask is that you consider an alternative narrative. Instead of trying to play the blame game for violence – autistics one day, people with mental illness the next, every young Black man the week after that – can we start to focus on healing within ourselves and our communities? Can we cope with our trauma in less hurtful ways?



06 March 2014

New Publication: Torture in Healthcare Settings

Loyal readers, first-time visitors, occasional maybe-I-can-check-Autistic-Hoya-because-I'm-bored folks, I'm super excited this week because an article I wrote has been published in a new compilation from the Anti-Torture Initiative, housed at the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law. The complete PDF of the full compilation was published to the Anti-Torture Initiative's website this week and can be accessed by clicking here. (Alternative link, if it works better to copy and paste: http://goo.gl/UPsx2w )

Why is this awesome, you ask? Because the publication actually explores many issues impacting multiple marginalized groups who face torture, abuse, and discrimination in healthcare, including in the areas of reproductive health, healthcare for trans* and queer people, access to healthcare for racial and ethnic minorities, and healthcare, treatment, and services for people with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities. More importantly, many of the authors offer specific recommendations for providers and policymakers to address existing issues and prevent future abuses.

My chapter is called, "Compliance is Unreasonable: The Human Rights Implications of Compliance-Based Behavioral Interventions under the Convention Against Torture and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities," and I'm thrilled that it's here. If you ever wanted to read (yet something else that I've written) about the inherent abuse and ableism embedded in the systematic use of restraints, seclusions, aversives, and applied behavior analysis as a means of ensuring compliance from their disabled victims, you've got a lovely chance.

Support from kickass activists Shain Neumeier and Ari Ne'eman went a long way in helping me with the document, too. Also the world is better because Tina Minkowitz, International Representative of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry whose article is also published here, lives in it.

I hope everyone who would like to has a chance to read this groundbreaking report, and shares it widely! Comments for my article are also more than welcome.

(All of the chapters in this publication, needless to say, carry trigger warnings for often graphic descriptions of abusive situations and practices, often spurred by racism, sexism, queerphobia, transphobia, and ableism, among other factors.)

Image description: A screengrab of the cover of the publication, with the title Torture in Healthcare Settings: Reflections on the Special Rapporteur on Torture's 2013 Thematic Report on a blue background at the top, a black and white photograph of a patient lying on a bed with linens in an institutional room with a window and heater in the middle, and then at the bottom against teal backgrounds in two different shades, the logos for the American University Washington College of Law and then the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: Anti-Torture Initiative.

The ATI's blurb is here:

The Anti-Torture Initiative’s first publication brings together contributions by more than thirty international experts in response to Special Rapporteur Juan E Méndez’s provocative 2013 thematic report on torture and other abusive practices in healthcare settings.  The articles featured in this unique volume reflect and expand upon key aspects of the Special Rapporteur’s report as well as on implementation of recommendations contained therein.  Each piece provides novel insights into essential topics and pressing issues at the forefront of the intersecting legal, medical, and policy fields. The questions raised by the Special Rapporteur’s report, and the array of innovative perspectives offered in response by each contributing author, illustrate a profound commitment to tackling the challenges that continue to arise in promoting and protecting the human rights of persons in diverse healthcare settings globally. 
The volume features an introduction by the Special Rapporteur on Torture, as well as articles by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, the Chairman of the UN Committee against Torture, as well as renowned academics, legal, medical, and policy experts, and human rights advocates. 
The compilation explores some of the following topics:
  • Interpretative and guiding principles and the evolution and application of lack of legal capacity as a doorway for torture and other ill-treatment
  • Emerging recognition of different forms of abuses in health-care settings as torture and other ill-treatment, including compulsory detention for medical conditions;  Denial of pain relief
  • The treatment of persons with psycho-social disabilities or intellectual disabilities globally
  • Special protection of minority and marginalized groups and individuals as a critical component of the obligation to prevent torture and other ill-treatment;  
  • Reproductive rights violations as torture and ill treatment
  • The relationship and interplay between the Convention against Torture, the international prohibition against torture, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Recognition, enforcement and accountability for various abusive practices in health-care settings and the need to obtain redress and fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible.

SO. If I have successfully managed to pique your curiosity about the new report, I've copied the full table of contents below to better explain the various chapters.

Torture in Healthcare Settings: Reflections on the Special Rapporteur on Torture's 2013 Thematic Report

TABLE OF CONTENTS

vii -  Acknowledgements

ix - About the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law and the Anti-Torture Initiative

xi - About the Mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

xiii - Foreword (Hadar Harris)

xv - Introduction (Juan E. Méndez)

1 - I. The Prohibition of Torture and the Right to Health: An Overview

3 - A Contribution by the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health: Right to Health and Freedom from Torture and Ill-Treatment in Health Care Settings (Anand Grover & Jamshid Gaziyev)

19 - The Problem of Torture in Health Care (Tamar Ezer, Jonathan Cohen, Ryan Quinn)

43 - The U.N. Committee Against Torture and the Eradication of Torture in Health Care Settings (Claudio Grossman)

49 - II. Abusive Practices in Health Care Settings and International Human Rights Law: Reflections

51 - Torture or Ill-Treatment in Reproductive Health Care: A Form of Gender Discrimination (Luisa Cabal & Amanda McRae)

65 - Poor Access to Comprehensive Prenatal Care, Including Opiate Substitution Treatment: A Form of Ill-Treatment for Women with Drug Dependence During Pregnancy (Mikhail Golichenko & Sandra Ka Hon Chu)

73 - Consent Signed with Invisible Ink: Sterilization of Trans* People and Legal Gender Recognition (Micah Grzywnowicz)

83 - When Healing and Comforting Hands Turn Hostile and Harmful: Homophobia and Transphobia in Health Care Centers (Rafael Mazin)

91 - Medical Treatment of People with Intersex Conditions as Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Anne Tamar-Mattis)

105 - Torturous “Treatment?” Assessing Government and Donor Responsibilities for Abuses in Drug Detention Centers from a Human Rights Perspective (Rebecca Schleifer & Richard Elliott)

123 - Privatizing Cruelty—Torture, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment in Non-Governmental Drug Rehabilitation Centers (Roxanne Saucier & Daniel Wolfe)

133 - Denial of Pain Treatment and the Prohibition Against Torture and Ill-Treatment (Diederik Lohman & Tamar Ezer)

141 - Joint Statement from the American Psychiatric Association and the World Psychiatric Association in Response to the Report of the Special Rapporteur

151 - Response by the Special Rapporteur to the Joint Statement by the American Psychiatric Association and the World Psychiatric Association

155 - An International Comparison of Mechanisms in Mental Health Monitoring (Judy Laing & Rachel Murray)

169 - Implementing a Paradigm Shift: Implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Context of Mental Disability Law (Peter Bartlett)

181 - Compliance is Unreasonable: The Human Rights Implications of Compliance-Based Behavioral Interventions under the Convention Against Torture and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Lydia Brown)

195 - “You That Hide Behind Walls:” The Relationship Between the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention Against Torture and the Treatment of Institutionalized Forensic Patients (Professor Michael L. Perlin & Meredith R. Schriver)

219 - On Torture, Ill-Treatment and People with Psychosocial and Intellectual Disabilities: Some Thoughts About the Report of the Special Rapporteur (Robert Dinerstein)

227 - A Response to the Report by Juan E. Méndez, Special Rapporteur on Torture, Dealing with Torture in the Context of Health Care, as it Pertains to Nonconsensual Psychiatric Interventions (Tina Minkowitz)

247 - The Role of Global Psychiatry in Advancing Human Rights (Oliver Lewis)

263 - Torture in Health Care Settings: Urgent Issues and Challenging Questions (Yuval Ginbar & James Welsh)

277 - Legal Capacity, Informed Consent, and Stigmatized Identities: Reform and Remedy Efforts in Central and Eastern Europe (Claude Cahn)

291 - Torture and Ill-Treatment Against African Persons with Psychosocial Disabilities In and Out of Health Care Settings (Shuaib Chalklen, Hisayo Katsui, Masa Anisic)

299 - Report of the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment on Torture in Healthcare Settings (Juan E. Méndez)