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One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest By Ken Kesey

2803 words - 11 pages

The Main Mental Health Problem in America
“All men are created equal; [that] they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; [that] among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” (Jefferson) Written on July 4th, 1776 by Thomas Jefferson and multiple other authors the Declaration of Independence defines what each American citizen is given, these rights shall never be legally taken from them. Fast forward now to the 21st century where people are restricted due to minor mental defects and are stripped of their basic rights. There is a lack of funding and importance given to mental sanitariums because mental patients are not believed to be normal humans. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey patients are treated as secondary humans and their needs are not put first. They are not given a voice and their basic rights are taken from them. The book correctly depicts hospital life in some ways, but the subsidies from the US government and the overall care needs to increase to protect current and future patients and their rights.
The lack of funding for mental sanitariums causes atrocious and unsafe living conditions. Basic treatments such as AIDs testing are ignored and the patients are left vulnerable to life threatening diseases. Steve Graff in his report on the living conditions and life within a hospital in the US and UK said, “With such a high-risk group, it is imperative to be routinely testing patients to improve care and reduce transmissions to others. Historically, though, HIV testing is often not implemented in mental health care.”(Graff). This is important because it is an example of how sanitariums do not treat patients as equally as humans are treated outside the hospitals. The normal AIDs patient is tested and by law they must tell another person if they have AIDs before engaging in any sexual conduct. In mental sanitariums the patients do not know if they have it, and could easily be spreading it because of the contact the patients have with each other. With correct funding, the sanitariums can test and separate patients who have the disease. This is a very dangerous and potentially life threatening disease and any of the patients or staff could be affected by it if they have sexual contact with the infected patient and do not know they the other person has it. The doctors talk to each patient and briefly evaluate him or her individually. There isn’t any type of blood testing currently going on to test the patients to see if they have the disease or not. This is necessary because it determines if the patient is safe to enter into a community living arrangement or not.
The lack of endowment from the government in the book is shown through the lack of certified doctors, the lack of updated technology, and poor and unsuccessful treatments. McMurphy and patients are talking about the life within the hospital when McMurphy says, “Jesus, I mean you guys do nothing but complain about how you cannot...

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