Tags: Tim Murphy | Mental Health | Airport | Shooter | Favor

Rep. Tim Murphy: Mental Health Standards in Airport Shooter's Favor

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By    |   Monday, 09 Jan 2017 02:22 PM

The FBI, law enforcement agencies and the mental health community all failed to see the risks involved when it came to accused Fort Lauderdale airport shooter Esteban Santiago, and Congress has been unable to come to an agreement over the standards needed to commit a troubled person, the sponsor of a mental health reform bill said Monday.

"We ended up with overwhelming support when it came to the House," Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Tim Murphy, sponsor of the Healthy Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program.

"But, we couldn't get an agreement to change the standard of commitment, the need for treatment versus eminent danger."

In other words, he continued, "you almost have to be caught in the act of pointing gun at someone or threatening to kill someone. A need for treatment standard means you have a lot of evidence there that means there's something seriously wrong, and this person can benefit from treatment."

In the case of Santiago, said Murphy, there was a documented trail of delusional behavior and severe mental illness, but those who observed him were not able to determine how dangerous he was.

"A person with delusional behavior or serious mental illness who is not in treatment and who has a history of violence is 15 times more likely to engage in violence than someone who is not," said Murphy.

In addition, there were other parts of the law that got blocked such a provision that would allow a judge to be able to order that a person remain in treatment. Another blocked provision included changes to the HIPAA laws that would have allowed medical or mental health professionals to approach families after patients are discharged and warn them of danger, said Murphy.

In Santiago's case, there were several disturbing warning signs, he continued.

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies, who had interviewed Santiago, said they did not see a risk that Santiago was involved with ISIS, said Murphy, and eventually he got got his gun back

"That doesn't mean there was no risk," said Murphy. "And the mental health community may say, 'well, we don't see a particular risk because we don't see it meets the eminent danger standards.'"

The big question is whether the agencies involved in Santiago's case talked with each other, said Murphy.

"With the HIPAA privacy laws, many times doctors or someone else will not call a family member and say 'tell us what you know so we can put these pieces together,'" said Murphy.

"And worse yet, upon discharge they may not tell a family member 'here's the problem. Make sure he stays in treatment.'"

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The FBI, law enforcement agencies and the mental health community all failed to see the risks involved when it came to accused Fort Lauderdale airport shooter Esteban Santiago, and Congress has been unable to come to an agreement over the standards needed...
Tim Murphy, Mental Health, Airport, Shooter, Favor
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2017-22-09
Monday, 09 Jan 2017 02:22 PM
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