Presentation on theme: "Involuntary treatment – an argument for its continuation and an analysis of what the Human Rights and Responsibilities Charter might deliver to consumers."— Presentation transcript:
Involuntary treatment – an argument for its continuation and an analysis of what the Human Rights and Responsibilities Charter might deliver to consumers without the need to abolish involuntary detention and/or treatment
Arguments for the maintenance of involuntary detention and involuntary treatment laws 1.Involuntary detention keeps people alive when they otherwise wouldn’t be able to be kept alive. It legitimately saves lives. It is non-negotiable – anything else denies the right to life. 2.Involuntary treatment means that the service uses all its resources and strength to assist and require the person to become fully well. Without it, involuntary treatment becomes custodial. Involuntary treatment more often delivers real victories. That is, freedom from mental illness as well as freedom from the mental health system. Without it, the system seems to deliver too many hollow victories of freedom from the system without freedom from the illness.
Potential uses of the Charter to deliver outcomes The Charter used to deliver outcomes for individual consumers in advocacy is the tap dripping effect that will wear away a fence. The Charter in full force as a framework for all state laws is the full force of the firehose that will knock down the fence. 1.The Charter can deliver freedom from an abuse of the right to “medical or scientific treatment without full, free and informed consent”. It does so by requiring that a consumer be furnished with an environment in which he or she can demonstrate the presence or absence of the capacity to consent.
Potential uses of the Charter to deliver outcomes (2) 2.The Charter can also deliver freedom from an abuse of the right to “liberty of person” and simultaneously abuse of the right to “freedom of movement”. It can do so by creating a system in which all consumers receive the right to good legal representation. The process of legal representation can have the therapeutic power to focus a consumer’s arguments and so deliver the potential of real insight and the road to real victories – freedom from illness and from the system.
Potential uses of the Charter to deliver outcomes (3) 3.The Charter can deliver freedom from abuses of the right to “humane treatment when deprived of liberty”. It can do so in requiring services to deliver the right of access to a toilet when in seclusion. 4.The Charter can deliver freedom from the abuse of the right to “liberty” and “the person’s reputation. It can do so in labelling a legitimate need for freedom as a misjudgment. The Charter may assist in questioning and ultimately overturning the part of the fourth criterion for involuntary treatment that states that a person may be detained for refusing to consent to treatment. If the capacity to consent is present, there seems no reason to require involuntary treatment.
Concluding comments The Charter will only work if we are committed and compassionate advocates against injustice to consumers and/or workers. Anything else allows an insipid, ineffective system to develop.