Thursday, November 16, 2006

lock 'em up

If they can't get you with one law, there's always another.....................

Tony Calland, chairman of the British Medical Association's medical ethics committee said, 'Mental health legislation cannot be used to detain people whom the authorities simply want locked away.'

However, the government are now intent on reviving the previously axed Mental Health Bill. The legislation would allow the detention of people with untreatable personality disorders - whether they've committed a criminal act or not. The draft Bill proposed that people so detained could be held for 28 days before facing a tribunal, i.e. 28 days locked away and forcibly medicated until they could formally oppose their detention.

Jane Harris, Rethink mental health charity, concluded, ' will mean people with mental health problems have fewer rights than someone suspected of burglaries.'

But there is a more disturbing aspect to this for everyone. Can those who make the diagnoses be trusted, and is it possible to safeguard against abuse of the system? If the state's procedure and practice in its execution of terror legislation is anything to go by.........we have a problem.

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