Letters to the Editor: Preventing treatment because of 'human rights' is cruel

SAN MARINO, CA - JANUARY 23: Gavin Newsom visits with Brandon Tsay who disarmed the gunman who opened fire at a ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023 in San Marino, CA. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
Gov. Gavin Newsom's CARE Courts plan will order mental health and addiction treatment for thousands of Californians. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: I am a longtime resident of Venice. My wife and I walk along the boardwalk and the main streets of the city regularly. We see people lying on sidewalks, eating out of garbage cans, making speeches to audiences that don't exist and other odd behaviors. ("Civil rights groups file lawsuit to block Newsom's plan for treating people with mental illness," Jan. 26)

These people are not well. They cannot help themselves. I cannot conceive that leaving them to continue their lives without aid is civilized.

When we were able to compel these people into care, there were abuses. But not helping people is a larger abuse.

There must be middle ground. I hope the governor and his detractors pledge to sit down to hammer out the issues with the proposal to compel people into treatment. We must emerge as a caring state that doesn't ignore human suffering. Even a misstep is preferable to ignoring the problem.

Arthur Kraus, Venice


To the editor: How can we restore in-patient mental health treatment for the unhoused if disability and civil rights advocates impede assistance based on "human rights"?

What can be sadder than observing a tortured homeless person suffering from mental illness? Don't they have a "right" to be helped?

Barbara Doss, Hawthorne

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.