Sedating Forgotten Children: How Unnecessary Psychotropic Medication Endangers Foster Children’s Rights and Health, 32 B.C. J.L. & Soc. Just. 357 (2012).
ABSTRACT: State foster care systems are forcing many foster children to take high dosages of dangerous, mind-altering psychotropic medications. State actors have little medical background for each child and have limited time to diagnose disorders, thereby creating potential constitutional and human rights violations. States are only supposed to administer psychotropic medication to a child when necessary and in the child’s best interest. Many children in foster care, however, are heavily medicated despite the difficulties of proving necessity. Those difficulties are due to a combination of diagnosis practice, the foster child’s background, and the poor condition of state foster care systems. In light of these limitations and the potential for using medication solely to curb bad behavior, such high prescription rates are unjustified. Many states lack in-depth tracking and oversight measures and fail to recognize this problem, thereby allowing abuse to continue and potentially preventing foster children from seeking justice.
The Continued Illegalization of Compassion: United States v. Millis and Its Effect on Humanitarian Work with the Homeless, 31 B.C. Third World L.J. 439 (2011).
ABSTRACT: Every year, more cities enact food sharing restrictions that punish individuals who try to feed the homeless. These laws are often part of a general scheme to solve a city’s homelessness problem by making life so unbearable for homeless men and women that they will be forced to move elsewhere. Humanitarian aid like food sharing, however, is a form of expressive conduct whereby the speaker communicates to a particular audience in need that he or she is willing to care for them. Additionally, the speaker’s conduct may inform observers about a particular humanitarian dilemma or encourage them to become involved. In United States v. Millis, the Ninth Circuit failed to recognize humanitarian aid for traveling immigrants as a form of protected speech, thereby opening the door to the creation of more harmful and unfair laws that suppress humanitarian aid.