It was a bad combination, I'll allow that. The call from the emergency room reached me the Saturday morning after I had finished reading Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged." I hadn't gotten a lot of sleep, partly because I finally reached page 1,168 around midnight, partly because I couldn't get my mind off John Galt, Hank Rearden, Francisco d'Anconia, Dagny Taggart and the rest of Rand's characters. Before I drifted off, I was already drawing parallels between the current state of psychiatry and Rand's fictional world in which the mind is denigrated, and autonomy and free will nearly stamped out."We have a problem," the crisis worker in the emergency room informed me. "There's a young man here who came in with serious suicidal ideation, but the HMO won't authorize hospitalization."
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