Joan Bellingham has received an apology – after 10 years of legal wrangling – from New Zealand’s Crown Health Financing Agency (CHFA) for wrongful diagnoses and treatments – including 200 rounds of ECT – received between 1970 and 1982. Bellingham was diagnosed with “neurotic personality disorder” which – three years later – was revised to schizophrenia. Bellingham says the settlement includes a small award (“…enough for a holiday”) but that “even though I always knew I wasn’t a drug user, a schizophrenic or an alcoholic, all of those things were still on my notes” and now she feels “free.” As of June 2010 the CHFA faced more than 250 such claims.
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