Time for FAA Psychiatric Illness Reform

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by ProjectInfinity1, May 12, 2019.

  1. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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    I love that your signature is Private Pilot ASEL LSR-I! I've known a couple of people who have lost their certificates for various reason and had to start all over. Good for you and way to come back! Love it.

    You state a sad and alarming fact with the FAA. I've often wondered how they are allowed to operate under the guise of guilty until proven innocent. My guess is they just haven't been confronted by the right attorney yet.

    That aside, I'm curious, did they ever come in kicking your door in and holding you at gunpoint? Did they ever threaten you with violence?

    Thanks for sharing that story.
     
  2. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    OOPS! Definitely not! Corrected! :oops:

    I wondered why Peter liked that post!
     
  3. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Or more to the point with respect to my assertion, did you perceive that they might use violence against you if you didn't fully cooperate with providing them a floor plan and allowing them in at any time of the day or night, and obeyed all the other restrictions?
     
  4. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks. No, they never came to the house after I gave the probation officer the tour, and I was never threatened with violence. In fact, the probation officer was very sympathetic and friendly after I explained what had happened. She really liked my ferocious golden retriever.
     
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  5. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    I think there have been a fair number of cases over the years challenging various aspects of this regime. What Stan went through is pretty typical in the Federal system. It is not considered convicting him to have the court restrict his travel and make him surrender his passport. They view that merely as preventing flight and ensuring compliance with court orders. They often put trackers on people for the same reason.

    I am curious what you think an attorney might challenge and on what legal basis?
     
  6. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Peter, I think you're taking a very extreme position, one that, if carried out in a major way, would essentially paralyze all three branches of government.
     
  7. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    But what did you think would happen if you didn't cooperate with those restrictions? Sure you weren't directly threatened with violence by the people dealing with you. But what did you think they would do if you didn't comply? Would they just send you letters begging you to cooperate, as sarcastically suggested by @SToL, or would you expect something more forcible?
     
  8. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Hi Richard, well, are you saying that my suggestions for how to proceed above would paralyze all 3 branches? That is namely, new regs only if clear evidence they will work or in an emergency, reviews to remove old regulations, starting with Federal agencies? Or are you referring to some other position?
     
  9. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think that in order to protect ourselves from harm, we as a people need to be able, through our elected representatives, to estimate the probable effects of laws and regulations. Insisting on proof of effectiveness in advance of adopting them would be an impossible standard to meet in most cases. How could you possibly collect meaningful data on that in advance of a law or regulation being tried out? And if you did accept the premise of collecting the data after adoption, how would you ever be able to separate the variables, i.e., eliminate confounding factors from the data?

    Sure, the fact that enforcing laws can occasionally require violence is regrettable, but I say that the moral impact of that is sufficiently mitigated as long as the violator can avoid violence by submitting to law enforcement when required.
     
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  10. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If I understand your position, it's that the only laws and regulations that should be allowed to exist are ones that can be proven effective. If I have that wrong, feel free to clarify.
     
  11. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    I think my exact position would be there should be clear evidence that the proposed or existing regulations prevent or deter a clear and present danger to others.

    So the danger being considered must be fairly immediate and obvious to outside observers. Not “I think some day something might hurt others”.

    The evidence should be clear and convincing. Not beyond a reasonable doubt but not as weak as a mere preponderance of evidence either.

    There are obviously significant judgement calls here, but I think many of our current regulations fail to meet this standard. Many FAA regulations are more along the lines of “we think it might help”.

    Consider the requirement for a 3rd class medical from the OP. We have not seen any reasonable data that it improves the safety of flight in this thread. I keep asking for any studies, and none have been cited.
     
  12. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    n

    You, through your elected representative, have delegated the rule making to the executive branch.
     
  13. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    True.
     
  14. PeterNSteinmetz

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    I hope my other response perhaps addresses this as well. I don’t think there is a clear distinction between “estimating probable effects” and “proof of effectiveness”. All scientific inference is essentially probabilistic, as is the underlying nature of reality. We rarely, or perhaps never, know things with 100% certainty. Some things we know with extremely high certainty and we will not be wrong in a million universes, but that is still not absolutely 100%, though practically and effectively it is so.

    So the question I raise here generally is, what level of certainty should we have that regulations will prevent a clear and present danger to others? I have proposed the standard should be clear evidence because what we ultimately have to do to enforce laws and regulations, if people don’t want to cooperate, is to do some pretty nasty stuff to them (I would call it threatening violence but others would say forcible coercion).

    I would submit that the evidence that the 3rd class medical requirement improves the safety of flight is almost non-existent. Assuming that requirement was enacted in 1950 or 1951 (as posted by Dr. Chien), there is nothing in the graphs which were posted (from the FAA’s own report) to suggest it had any effect at all on the rate of fatal accidents in GA flying. There is also anecdotal reason to believe that pilots may be avoiding treating and dealing with medical conditions because of this regulation and that would arguably decrease the safety of flight.

    Thus, no clear evidence the 3rd class requirement improves the safety of flight. Issues surrounding it clearly have negative sequelae, such as for Stan Cooper. It should rationally be eliminated.
     
  15. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That statement makes no sense to me. My understanding of the English language is that there is a wide gulf between an estimate and proof.

    I think you're placing way too much emphasis on the "nasty stuff," given that it is entirely within the power of the accused to avoid it in nearly every case.

    You could be right, but I don't think the violence argument adds anything to making that case.
     
  16. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Tried to explain that there but let me try again with an example I sometimes use during lectures.

    I ask a question. Do you know where your car is parked right now?

    We are in a lecture hall so most people will say, “yes, definitely, it is in such and such a parking lot.”

    But in fact lots of things might have happened to their car so they are wrong and don’t know where it is:

    It might have been struck by someone in the lot and hauled away to impound during the course of the investigation. That has some reasonable probability.

    It might have been hit by a meteor and vaporized - considerably less likely but it could happen.

    And finally, almost impossibly unlikely, but according to laws of quantum mechanics, the probability that every single particle in that car has spontaneously relocated somewhere else can be estimated.

    So I tend to view all scientific knowledge as probabilistic with varying levels of certainty. And that is certainly how I would view any knowledge of the likely preventative effects of regulation. We can have some level of certainty about the likely effects, but in the social sciences it will always be much less than 100% or any level of certainty we typically achieve in physics or engineering.

    Now you may be thinking of “proof” as something like a logically derived proof, which is another meaning, but doesn’t really apply to inductive conclusions. In that sense of the term, I would never expect or suggest a “proof” of the efficacy of a regulation.

    I would like to see clear and convincing evidence, which is a subjective description that roughly corresponds to something like a >75% level of certainty. Better than preponderance of evidence and less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
     
  17. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Also pertinent to @STol’s comment. I have sometimes pondered the idea of having government also have a lesser sort of “punishment” than illegal. With modern technology, we could maintain an official government blacklist when certain lower level offenses are committed. Others could check it when deciding who to do business with or extend credit to.

    Citizens would have a hearing before a judge before being placed on it and could petition to be removed.

    In a situation like that, I would then personally be ok with somewhat lower standards of evidence before creating the offenses that can get you on the blacklist. The legislature would still have to vote to create that type of offense.

    Just some musings...
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2019
  18. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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    So why is it everyone wants to come to the great United States, and then change the way we do things?

    We are the only country in the world where citizens are born with natural inalienable rights and with a constitution that prohibits our government from infringing on those rights.

    We have a pretty damn good system here. It's not perfect but it's pretty good. Good enough that everyone else wants to come here as well. And then they want to change it.

    I don't understand it.
     
  19. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Interesting question, and noting a lot of good things, but what is the pertinence to this thread or aviation?
     
  20. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    FAA or Congress doesn't really make a difference. Congress acted because of the FAA's failure to act but lets be honest here, neither the FAA or Congress had any real reason to act on their own accord. Basic Med was an initiative driven by 3rd Class Medical Reform campaign of AOPA et al.
     
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  21. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    That is called a misdemeanor. it already exists.

    Tim
     
  22. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Except there is no way to get a federal conviction (even a misdemeanor) "removed" short of a Presidential pardon. Some politicians (in an attempt at forward thinking) have introduced legislation as to such, but it never has gone anywhere.
     
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  23. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Cleared for Takeoff

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    True. Every time I fill out an application form for just about anything (AOA airport badge, hangar lease, etc.) there's a question about criminal convictions, and I have to explain the 18.1001 misdemeanor plea agreement. It hasn't been a problem, but it's still embarrassing. It'll be part of my history forever.
     
  24. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    My idea was a little different, a least in most jurisdictions. That is to have the "blacklist" not carry any other penalties at all. No small fine, nothing that will be enforced using physical force (or violence).

    So this could be used for things society thinks is bad, but for which there is no clear evidence that it presents a clear and present danger to others. Incorporating another thread, perhaps things like flying your buddy somewhere while he pays for lunch while you are a private pilot.
     
  25. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Agreed on the medical reform campaign, but regarding the FAA's "failure to act," they actually had an NPRM ready to go, but it was stonewalled by DOT.
     
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  26. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You're exaggerating. It's not "will be," it's "could be."
     
  27. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    If you want to be semantically precise, let's consider that.

    "Could" is used to indicate a possibility. So that is one possible valid use which would imply excluding all possible sanctions which could possibly be enforced using force.

    On the other hand, saying "nothing that will be enforced" means the agent, in this case the government, will not use force or violence to enforce anything. They might use sanctions which could be enforced using force, but would not do so in my statement, which is thus a bit less restrictive for the government than saying "could".

    That suggests these offenses could have a fine, which you could choose to pay to take your name off the blacklist, but you don't have to. We almost have that now effectively with misdemeanor fines in other states. They only rarely are going to forcibly try and collect those, but they can.

    Not sure I'm as in favor of that as a pure blacklist though, so I do think I would more accurately like excluding all things which "could" be enforced using physical force for this purpose.

    Also, returning to the start of this detour. I am trying to propose a system which does not contain the threat or possibility of the use of force for these offenses. So which option is being used, should be explicit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  28. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sorry to dredge up this post after 6 months but an article I just read and another thread reminded me of it and I wanted to address a comment in here...

    I dont necessarily disagree with Dr Bruce that one should get health first but there are limits to what you can do to get healthy and I disagree that a person is "unhealthy" purely because they take a medication.

    Is having ADD/ADHD inherently unhealthy? I know many people who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and lead perfectly normal lives without medication; yeah they have their idiosyncrasies (who doesn't), some of which would not be completely "socially acceptable" by society at large (again who doesn't) but that doesn't make them unhealthy or at least in my (admittedly non-medical) opinion, less capable as a pilot even though the FAA says they're not even eligible for the issuance of a class 3 medical. Similarly, I've known people who do take medication for ADD/ADHD who lead perfectly normal lives without the major idiosyncrasies or "socially questionable" behaviors and you would have no idea they had an ADD/ADHD diagnosis or were taking medications unless they told you; to all the world they are a normal functioning, healthy human being. And what about childhood ADD/ADHD that they've "grown out of" (arguably ADD/ADHD is over-diagnosed in many children who never had it in the first place) but according to the FAA they have a disqualifying history of ADD/ADHD that will take a lot of time, effort and money to get the diagnosis overturned.

    At the time of this thread, a person with inherited Type 1 Diabetes had no option to "get healthy" at least by the FAA standard. Even though they have lived with it for pretty much all of their lives and it might be well managed/properly controlled having never manifested in an overt manner, according to the FAA they were bared from getting a Class 1 or Class 2 medical. They could otherwise be perfectly healthy, capable and safe private pilots but by dint of being born with a genetic illness, unlike their Type 2 Acquired Diabetes co-parts who could qualify for a Special-Issuance, they were unable to fly professionally. As of November, the FAA is moving forward with plans to allow them to qualify for a class 1 or 2 medical but that's a recent change to the status quo.

    So yeah get healthy and then worry about flying sounds great but in practice getting healthy could just be a matter of getting treatment.

    As to skipping medical care out of worry for your medical, well I again would generally agree with you but at least according to the psychology today article posted by @PeterNSteinmetz, the majority (59%) would forgo treatment of depression than voluntarily disqualify themselves by taking an SSRI and a further 15% would accept treatment but would conceal it from the FAA. That means only 1 in 4 pilots would comply with both the course of treatment for their illness AND the FAA's disqualification on the basis of their illness/treatment.

    Therein lies the entire point of my arguments... The FAA would be better served by moving in a direction of approval, monitoring and compliance, as they generally have with FAR violations, then continuing to maintain a policy of disapproval.

    The results from the "compliance" method of enforcement are showing a higher willingness among all in aviation to self-report issues and errors contributing to a safer environment overall than the "punitive" methods of enforcement which saw pilots, ATC, et al do everything they could to keep the FAA out of it.
     
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  29. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Nope, we are not, the constitution part is correct, but everyone is born with these rights, but many or most countries do not acknowledge them. But I think you knew that already.


    Edit: That's a lot of buts I wrote there, lol.
     
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  30. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Have to disagree. Firstly, the COTUS does guarantee a right to due process before deprivation of liberty, which some may consider many of these regulations to violate. Secondly, this can also be considered a matter of people’s inherent rights. Or thirdly, simply a matter of good public policy in terms of producing the most peaceful and prosperous society. So the issue I raise is not irrelevant under any of those criteria.

    But let me ask this another way. What principles do you think should govern and decide which aviation regulations are in place? Safety at all costs? Whatever some authority like the legislature decides?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
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  31. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    First of all, according to the Ninth Amendment, not all rights are listed in the Constitution. Secondly the Supreme Court has interpreted the due process clause as not only requiring fair procedures, but also fair laws.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/substantive_due_process

    Maybe, but it's not that clear cut. In Shapiro v. Thompson, the Supreme Court reviewed prior case law, and noted that courts have held that there is a right to travel, and that this right may not be "unreasonably" burdened or restricted:

    "This Court long ago recognized that the nature of our Federal Union and our constitutional concepts of personal liberty unite to require that all citizens be free to travel throughout the length and breadth of our land uninhibited by statutes, rules, or regulations which unreasonably burden or restrict this movement."

    So the issue appears to be whether a particular law or regulation is reasonable or not.

    Like I said, not clear cut.

    Absolutely NOT irrelevant. In our republic, we are entitled to discuss what laws Congress should pass or repeal, and if we can convince enough fellow citizens of our views, then there is at least a possibility of getting Congress to change the laws. The legislation that led to BasicMed is a recent example.
     
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  32. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    I want to make sure I am understanding the answer to this correctly. I asked "What principles do you think should govern and decide which aviation regulations are in place? Safety at all costs? Whatever some authority like the legislature decides?"

    And your answer is "Whatever some authority like the legislature decides" is the principle which should govern and decide which aviation regulations are in place.

    Doesn't that lead to an infinite regress -- in other words, there is then the question -- what principles should the legislature use to decide which aviation regulations are in place? (I think my original question fairly subsumed this question as I did not specify an agent.)

    I suppose one could treat the legislature as some sort of ultimate authority, that whatever they say is true and just, sort of like the pope speaking ex cathedra for Catholics. I can imagine other interpretations, but it doesn't seem fair to misinterpret here, so perhaps you can elaborate. Do you really think we should all just stop our inquiry about the appropriate principles with the answer that the legislature is always correct?
     
  33. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yes to all in that post -- yes in spades!
     
  34. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks for the kind words. Definitely agree it is worth politely discussing/debating.
     
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  35. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    The FAA has increased aeronautical decision making (ADM) training for over the last decade with the goal of increasing safety. Reducing the medical standards for ADD/ADHD is counter productive.

    While you have the right to lobby for changes, likewise others have the right to lobby for the status quo. That includes corporations who have an economic safety interest.
     
  36. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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    What other country has a system where citizens are born with natural inalienable rights and with a constitution that prohibits "their" government from infringing on those rights.

    I might consider moving there.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
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  37. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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    Sounds like a perfect model Peter, if not a fantasy. Just take a look at California to see how it's working.

    https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2...lifters-caught-on-video-sporting-goods-store/
    https://www.foxnews.com/us/california-prop-47-shoplifting-theft-crime-statewide
    https://thefederalistpapers.org/opi...rug-users-enjoying-spoils-californias-prop-47
     
  38. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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  39. SToL

    SToL Line Up and Wait

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    Oh yeah, there's crime, but not people blatantly walking in, pulling stuff off the shelf and walking out with it as if it's their right. It's different what's happening in ca now. They basically don't even enforce any theft under 1k any more. It's creating a whole new type of society. The state of California is rapidly becoming a giant toilet.

    In other news, the City of Denver has just announced it will begin re-enforcing the cities 'No Camping' ban.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  40. PeterNSteinmetz

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    Perhaps a bit of a misunderstanding there. I would consider people stealing other people’s property to be clear and present danger to the rights of the people whose property being stolen.

    Seems quite clear to me and a perfect case where enforcement of people’s rights through a law and ultimate threat of physical coercion is clearly called for!

    People have a natural right to defend themselves and their families through the use of lethal force if necessary. And the right to defend their property through the use of force in an adjudicated process.

    The case of the possible danger from someone flying without a FAA medical certificate is considerably more remote.