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Sarasota News Leader January 4, 2013 OPINION brain, which are a more common cause of behavior such as Adam���s, are undetectable. For this reason, Connecticut���s chief medical examiner���s autopsy may not produce a convincing explanation of Adam���s behavior. What was the stressor event that triggered the shootings? It has been suggested that Adam discovered his mother was planning to commit him to a mental institution. Another theory is that she was going to enroll him in a school in Washington State. Our doctors discount these theories. A more likely explanation, they say, is that Adam began questioning himself about his mother���s belief in an impending apocalypse and that he could not answer those questions satisfactorily. Her paranoid fantasies continued to nourish his, and he acted on them. Adam���s first victim was his mother, whom he is said to have shot four times in the head and face. Why did he kill very young children? One psychiatrist said that within the context of the ���End of Days��� fantasy that Adam and his mother shared and nurtured, and which, in Adam, may have been informed by his alleged flirtation with Satanism, Adam could have come to see the children as agents of the ���Lord of Misrule,��� who had to be destroyed, as in the video games he played. One child was shot 11 times. COMMITMENT PROCESSES A word about the process in Connecticut by which mentally ill persons are involuntarily committed is perhaps overdue. Involuntary commitment is governed by CGS ��17a-503. Page 61 This statute provides that persons who are mentally ill may be committed involuntarily if they are judged to be a danger to others or themselves, or if they are severely disabled to the point where they may suffer serious harm because they cannot provide for their own basic human needs and refuse to accept necessary hospitalization. Involuntary commitment requires that papers be filed with the probate court and competent medical professionals examine the individual in question. This process is neither swift nor easy. There is also an expedited process for involuntary commitment. Known as ���emergency certification,��� this venue requires a competent medical practitioner to certify that an individual is mentally ill, is a danger to himself or others and/or cannot care for himself without specialized assistance. In such instances, an individual may be held for 15 days for observation and evaluation. If at the end of this period the test results are negative or inconclusive, and no civil commitment petition has been filed with the probate court, then the individual is released back into his community. Based on available reporting, it appears as though Adam was never the subject of civil commitment proceedings or an emergency commitment. Adam���s mother, his sole caregiver, took no step to secure professional help to treat his mental illness, which was obvious to many, and which she may have tacitly encouraged. The responsibility for the tragedy of Newtown is shared equally by mother and son, as well as by the dozens of individuals who turned a blind eye to the pair���s bizarre, symbiotic behavior. %

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