According to a Human Rights Watch report, nursing homes are doping tens of thousands residents with anti-psychotic drugs that don’t have diagnoses that require them. Not only that they are doing it without the patients’ consent.
In the report called, “They Want Docile,” the group claims 179,000 residents of long-term nursing homes across the country are given anti-psychotic drugs each week that are not appropriate for their condition. They claim the drugs are used for their sedating side effects, which make patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease easier to manage.
Hannah Flamm, an NYU law school fellow at Human Rights Watch told the Guardian, “People with dementia are often sedated to make life easier for overworked nursing home staff, and the government does little to protect vulnerable residents from such abuse.”
The report is based on publicly available data and visits to 109 nursing facilities from October 2016 to March 2017 in California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, New York and Texas. They also interviewed 323 people living in nursing homes, nursing facility staff and long-term care and disability experts.
An attorney for AARP, Kelly Bagby, which has been involved in several court cases challenging nursing home medication practices, told Fox News “given the dire consequences” of antipsychotics, the number of elderly people with dementia taking the drugs “should be zero.”