February 25th, 2007

Being tried as an adult in Pennsylvania

Hi, all, :-)

This is my first post, and I'm having a devil of a time trying to find the answer to this question. I'm not sure I'm Googling right, but I've tried about three or four fruitless variations. (Like "juvenile adult trial Pennsylvania," or "tried as an adult Pennsylvania") If anyone can help me pin it down a bit better, I'd appreciate it!

Alternately, if anyone knows, it'd be a tremendous help--under what circumstances would a juvenile offender be tried as an adult in Pennsylvania in this day and age? Would it have to be a violent crime, or would the number of charges matter? I'm trying to figure out the prison sentence for an underaged (seventeen) offender. This particular character has committed electronic crimes (e.g, bank fraud) and grand larceny.

Any help--even just a better way to Google--would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
  • Current Mood: anxious
  • Current Music: Stephen Fry - HP&TPS

FDA-banned medication

Various googled drug sites and Wikipedia tell me that fluvoxamine (Luvox) has been banned in the USA and is no longer prescribed as a treatment for depression, but is still available in Canada.

I'm a little unclear, though, on whether the generic version is still available and prescribed in the US. Also, I'm a little muddled on whether fluoxetine (Prozac) is no longer available at all or whether it has just been discontinued for the treatment of adolescents.

Any help that American pharmacists or medical professionals could give me on this would be appreciated.

Cheers!

ETA: Thanks for the quick help - the confusion has been cleared up nicely. *g*

Shelf life of morphine...

Okay - i've got a character who was a medic in the Korean war, 1951. He managed to bring home his field kit, complete with several ampules of morphine. He's kept his kit in a foot locker in his home since then, and he lives in Kansas.

*And yes, you can do this, my father has the morphine and other supplies he carried as a Navy medic in WW2 - they never asked for it and he simply didn't return it.*

My question is - would the morphine still have any effect if used? I've googled 'shelf life morphine glass storage' since the most recent studies seemed to be only done with plastic containers. The few things i found only tested for up to a year and a half, with almost no degeneration of the drug when stored in glass.

So would fifty year old morphine, stored in air-tight glass ampules, still work? They've been in the dark footlocker, but also in an un-air-conditioned house from time to time, so they've gotten warm *and* cold.

Thanks!

The Likelihood of Sensing An Oncoming Schizophrenic Episode, And Killing A Person With Scissors

(This is my first post, so I'm hoping everything was done properly.)

My main character is a resident of a rather small town in Maine in the present day.

He suffers from a mild case of schizophrenia, and has had a small number of episodes in the past. During these episodes, his sexuality tends to change and he often takes on a rather effeminate form compared to the one his general behavior possesses.

I've searched several terms though Google, but have been unable to find, given his fairly normal state of being considering his case is a fairly mild one, whether or not he would be able to sense an episode coming on, or if it would be something that would overcome him so rapidly that he would have no preconcieved notion of when such an attack would occur.

Also, would he begin to pick up some of the traits of his more effeminate form, even while not under the influence of a schizophrenic episode?

And during one of these episodes, he ends up stabbing a female character with a pair of scissors, and ultimately kills her in the process. Would a stabbing gesture be more effective than slashing, and if so, where on the body would cause the quickest death? I'm thinking the neck or chest area, but I'm unsure.

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: I've done some research on Multiple Personality Disorder, and based on everyone's opinions, I've decided to change my character's disorder from schizophrenia to that. Given my changes, I'd still like to know whether or not my questions are still applicable, and the answers to them based on the influence of Multiple Personality Disorder, rather than my original disorder. Thanks, everyone.
  • Current Mood: curious

Diagnosis for a patient apparently experiencing hallucinations

My character, a 14-year-old girl, was born with the ability to perceive - visually and audially - the events in a specific part of another dimension: a room, which would probably resemble an ordinary living room, where people (who generally aren't what we would consider normal; there's usually at least one nonhuman and/or human with superpowers and/or nonhuman physical attributes present, as well as humans who appear to be from very different time periods, and the only thing they all really have in common is sentience) hang out and talk. It's visible to her as such, and appears projected onto one of the walls in a room she's in; she can hear what goes on in it as if it was happening in the next room. Sometimes it isn't visible or audible at all (most often when she's outside in an area where there aren't any walls around), but it's there more often than not.

Because she was born into a normal, present-day setting, which has no way of accessing this other dimension or awareness that it exists, these are considered to be hallucinations rather than any sort of legitimate perceptions. She's also gifted, which brings with it some social problems (primarily that she doesn't much care for her peers, so she doesn't really bother with trying to socialize with them), and has an introverted personality. However, the "hallucinations" are the only symptom of serious mental dysfunction that she suffers from, and they don't really change in "severity", go away or appear less frequently with medication, or influence her behavior - the people in the room don't even realise her presence, let alone tell her to do things; the only way it affects her is that she sometimes reacts to them in a similar fashion to the way people react to movies and TV, and they've been known to distract her from other, more important things. Finally, she refuses to accept the proposition that she's mentally ill, although she doesn't share her alternative explanation with anyone for fear of ending up being considered delusional on top of everything else.

I'm not sure what she'd be diagnosed with; although paranoid schizophrenia seems pretty close, I don't know if the nature of her perceptions would match up with the standard criteria for delusions and/or hallucinations. Furthermore, although this doesn't seem to me like it'd be severe enough to warrant it, I need to know if she would have much likelihood of having been institutionalized at some point in her life.

I've tried Wikipedia's entries for schizophrenia and hallucinations, but it's not really something that I know how to google (if it can be googled at all), and haven't found a specific enough answer to be sure about it.

This isn't a major plot point, by the way; I just want to know for the sake of giving a bit more detail to her backstory.

ETA: It appears that there are a few plot holes in this that I didn't catch; I was intending for the family to have found out when she was too young to realise that she should keep it to herself, but I didn't account for the fact that most parents would probably have written it off as an overactive imagination. However, since being diagnosed as mentally ill is a fairly important part of her character, I'd like to know what changes I can make in order to keep that plausible.

ETA #2: Alright, looks like I need to rethink this a bit; thanks for your help, everyone.

Time spent in hospital?

My character has been in hospital following an attack. She's bruised and has some minor cuts but the main worry was the fact she took a blow to the head. It left her semi-conscious and she's taken to hospital.

Google's given me plenty of info on serious brain injuries from car accidents and the like but I'm just wanting to know how long it's plausible to have her in hospital for?

From what I've read she'd be kept in overnight for observation at the least, but as she has no apparent fracture or bleeding would they discharge her the next day?

Thanks in advance.

ETA
Thanks for all that (the link was helpful too :))

I've decided that she'll be allowed out the next day under the supervision of a friend, which works perfectly well with the rest of the story.

Thanks.