Bee faults Nevada probe

The Sacramento Bee, which broke the story of Nevada's practice of busing mental patients out of state, has published an editorial calling subsequent investigations a whitewash.

“Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the agencies that should be overseeing mental health care are whitewashing Nevada's practice of busing its mentally ill patients to all corners of the continental United States. … Not surprisingly, the consultants [hired by Nevada] last month praised the care provided by Rawson-Neal [Hospital] and said busing patients to their home states ‘is a kindness to them and to their families.' … One patient, Nicholas Caroleo, never made it to his destination. His whereabouts are unknown. But upon learning that Nevada bought him a bus ticket in February, his parents got a restraining order barring him from contacting them. ‘Nicholas has threatened to kill myself, my husband, himself and my grandchildren,' his mother, Pat Caroleo, told the court in Maryland, where she lives. Asked whether he had access to a firearm, she answered, ‘I have no idea.' …

The editorial continued, “Too many of us would prefer that severely mentally ill people simply go away. Treatment is hard for the sickest individuals. So we conclude they have the right to be ill, and avert our eyes rather than see them forage through dumpsters. Nevada's use of Greyhound therapy was one step on that path of studied indifference. The federal agency that is supposed to oversee the use of federal money for the treatment of mentally ill people took more steps.”