Petition contents

This is part of MindFreedom International's Shield campaign for Dawn Dziuba, who is currently being forcibly drugged and institutionalized in the state of Missouri in the USA.

We, the organizers and signers of this petition, demand that the officials involved in Dawn's case give her the right to:

  • make her own medical decisions,
  • make and receive phone calls while detained,
  • receive visitors while detained,
  • temporarily leave the ward (e.g. to visit the library) during her detainment,
  • possess and view her legal documents at will, and
  • ultimately be released from the ward to live in her community in accordance with her wishes.

We also urge the Missouri Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Services and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division to investigate the Missouri Department of Health's treatment of Dawn and other people in Missouri who are being involuntarily subjected to guardianships, powerful psychotropic drugs, and indefinite institutionalization.



Dawn's story

Dawn has been forcibly held at St. Louis Forensic Treatment Center since 2014. She was transferred there from a jail, where she had awaited a trial for what appear to be trumped-up charges. Due to the government's lack of transparency, we do not have all of the facts yet, but it seems she is suffering retaliation for whistleblowing: she accused Washington University in St. Louis of research misconduct and misappropriation of funds, and a university administrator told her that if she continued her accusations, "I will get you arrested."

Although Dawn did not take the administrator's threat seriously, she was indeed soon arrested for allegedly making "terrorist threats" to the university, which she denies to this day. Declaring her incompetent and transferring her to a psychiatric facility may have been Washington University's way of preventing a trial that would likely have resulted in Dawn’s acquittal and an exposure of the university’s misconduct.

Moreoever, prior to being forcibly drugged, Dawn showed no signs of psychosis in her interactions with MFI or with her family and friends, who have never noticed any behavior in her that could indicate mental health problems. In fact, while on the phone with MFI, Dawn articulately discussed ways of helping other patients advocate against their involuntary drugging and indefinite institutionalization (click here to listen to a recording of that conversation).

Clearly, Dawn's treatment at St. Louis Forensic Treatment Center is not even remotely therapeutic or conducive to her well-being. The facility's personnel are only harming her and chemically restraining her with a dangerous drug called Abilify as punishment for asserting her and others' rights—and potentially for attempting to call attention to academic corruption.

Please refer to MFI's webpage for Dawn's campaign to view past updates about her case.



The many issues with neuroleptics like Abilify and psych drug injections

Abilify, marketed as an anti-psychotic, belongs to a class of drugs known as neuroleptics. Neuroleptics are powerful tranquilizers that have existed for over six decades. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anti-psychotic medications are now the largest-selling class of drugs in the US.

Many experts believe anti-psychotics are over-prescribed and their risks often outweigh their benefits. Anti-psychotics are known to cause severe side effects including metabolic disorders, movement disorders, cognitive impairment, and brain shrinkage. Abilify’s side effects include confusion and impulse control disorders, with overdoses leading to aggressive behavior.

The drug manufacturers of Abilify recently lost their patent for their lucrative drug and used corrupt scientific trials to create artificial demand for a substitute: patented Abilify injections which are now billable to Medicaid. A summary of the explosive rise in the use of Abilify depot injections and the economic forces behind this trend can be found in an article by Mad In America titled "The Once and Future Abilify: Depot Injections for Everyone?"

Survivors of forced injections have compared the procedure to rape. Depot injections, also known as time-release injections, are particularly harrowing because once they are in a person's bloodstream, that person cannot quickly withdraw from the drug even if they are experiencing an adverse reaction.

Why is the aforementioned new injection so popular in the US? How many people are being forcibly subjected to this costly new drug at the expense of taxpayers? How many more traumatic experiences, harmful side effects, and deaths from neuroleptics have to take place before we re-evaluate the psychiatric practice of drugging millions of people for life?



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