Human Rights Watch

multimedia newsroom

United States: Oversedation in Nursing Homes

Urgent Need for Stronger Government Enforcement

Monday 05 February 2018

Embargoed for Release
Not for Publication Until:
06:01 in Sacramento, California, Monday, February 5, 2018 (09:01 EST) 
14:01 GMT, February 5, 2018

(Sacramento, February 5, 2018) – Nursing homes across the United States routinely give antipsychotic drugs to residents with dementia to control their behavior, despite regulatory prohibitions on this misuse of drugs as “chemical restraints,” Human Rights Watch said in a report and video released today. This abusive practice remains widespread even though the use of antipsychotics is associated with a nearly doubled risk of death in older people with dementia.

The 110-page report, “‘They Want Docile’: How Nursing Homes in the United States Overmedicate People with Dementia,” estimates that every week in US nursing facilities, more than 179,000 people, mostly older and living with dementia, are given antipsychotic drugs without a diagnosis for which their use is approved. Often, nursing facilities use these drugs without obtaining or even seeking informed consent. Using antipsychotic medications as a “chemical restraint”—for the convenience of staff or to discipline residents— violates federal regulations and may amount to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment under international human rights law.

PHOTOS (12)

MORE LATEST NEWS
ALL STORIES

Pakistan: Girls Deprived of Education

Tuesday 13 November 2018

Length 06:52

2 0 6 0 0 0
Tunisia: Privacy Threatened by ‘Homosexuality’ Arrests

Thursday 08 November 2018

Length 01:21

1 0 8 0 0 0
Midterm Elections 2018

Wednesday 31 October 2018

Length 00:37

6 0 0 0 0 0
North Korea: Sexual Violence Against Women by Officials

Wednesday 31 October 2018

Length 04:38

3 0 12 0 0 0
Turkey: Workers Behind Bars as Airport Opens

Monday 29 October 2018

Length 01:52

1 0 0 0 0 0
Malawi: Arrests, Violence against LGBT People

Friday 26 October 2018

Length 03:09

3 0 1 0 0 0
Russia: Unaddressed Domestic Violence Puts Women at Risk

Thursday 25 October 2018

Length 3:54

2 0 0 0 0 0
South Sudan: Soldiers Attack Civilians in Western Region

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Length 01:54

2 0 1 0 0 0
Palestine: Authorities Crush Dissent

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Length 05:00

2 0 0 0 0 0
Ethiopia: Ensure Justice for Abuses in Jail Ogaden

Friday 19 October 2018

Length 01:33

1 0 0 0 0 0
Senegal: Teen Girls Sexually Exploited, Harassed in Schools

Thursday 18 October 2018

Length 00:51

1 0 2 0 0 0
Lebanon: No Action to Enforce New Waste Law

Thursday 18 October 2018

Length 00:59

1 0 0 0 0 0
Syria: Residents Blocked From Returning

Monday 15 October 2018

Length 1:09

1 0 0 0 3 0
Uganda: No Justice for 2016 Kasese Massacre by Security Forces

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Length 02:20

2 0 2 0 0 0
Ghana: Oversight Needed to Enforce Shackling Ban

Tuesday 09 October 2018

Length 01:36

2 0 4 0 0 0
Eritrea: Diplomacy Changes, but Political Prisoners Remain

Thursday 04 October 2018

Length 02:43

2 0 0 0 0 0
Lebanon: Discriminatory Nationality Law

Tuesday 02 October 2018

Length 03:14

1 0 0 0 0 0