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Not for Publication Until: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

Myanmar: Farmers Seek Return of Seized Land

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Length 2:36

2 0 5 0 0 0
Australia: New Video on Cruel ‘Offshore Processing’ Policy

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Length 01:53

2 0 0 0 0 0
ICC: Victims Deserve Justice

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Length 05:10

2 0 0 5 0 0
International Criminal Court’s 20th Anniversary

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Length 3:04

2 0 0 0 0 0
Ethiopia: Torture in Somali Region Prison

Wednesday 04 July 2018

Length 04:01

3 0 9 0 0 0
France: Child Migrants Left Adrift in Paris

Tuesday 03 July 2018

Length 05:38

3 0 0 0 0 0
US: Undocumented Crime Fighters Deserve Protection

Tuesday 03 July 2018

Length 03:05

2 0 0 0 0 0
Syria: Mass Graves in Former ISIS Areas

Monday 02 July 2018

Length 02:58

2 0 1 0 0 0
Indonesia: Anti-LGBT Crackdown Fuels Health Crisis

Sunday 01 July 2018

Length 03:09

2 0 0 0 0 0
Iran: People With Disabilities Face Discrimination and Abuse

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Length 01:55

1 0 8 0 0 0
US: Poor Medical Care, Deaths, in Immigrant Detention

Thursday 21 June 2018

Length 02:02

2 0 0 0 0 0
Child Detention Tent City Image Illustrates Crisis

Wednesday 20 June 2018

0 0 2 0 0 0
Africa: Pregnant Girls, Young Mothers Barred from School

Thursday 14 June 2018

Length 03:21

2 0 9 0 0 0
Court Ruling Upholds Right of Same-Sex Couple to Live in Romania

Thursday 07 June 2018

Length 2:33

2 0 0 0 0 0
Tunisia: Lax Enforcement of Right to Lawyer

Friday 01 June 2018

Length 02:20

2 0 0 0 0 0
Bangladesh: Landslides Threaten Rohingya Shelters

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Length 01:57

2 0 0 0 0 0
Brazil: People With Disabilities Confined in Terrible Conditions

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Length 06:52

4 0 10 0 0 0
Egypt: Army Intensifies Sinai Home Demolitions

Tuesday 22 May 2018

0 0 6 0 0 0