In a statement to a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 4, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment called for a ban on forced psychiatric interventions including forced drugging, shock, psychosurgery, restraint and seclusion, and for repeal of laws that allow compulsory mental health treatment and deprivation of liberty based on disability, including when it is motivated by “protection of the person or others.”
Forced treatment for “mental illness” has been defined as a war crime for some time by a UN convention to which the USA is signatory. Lack of respect for and failure to enforce laws already on the books is the real issue. See below.
INTERNATIONAL LAW WITH RESPECT TO INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT
The United States is a signatory to a United Nations convention that obligates any signatory nation to take a violator, one believed to have been involved in torture in any manner, into custody. Any American involved in the apprehension, detention, interrogation or prosecution of anyone who was subjected to any pain and suffering, mental or physical, is considered a war criminal and subject to arrest.
For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
This article is without prejudice to any international instrument or national legislation which does or may contain provisions of wider application.
Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made.
Good for Juan! Now I just hope somebody in power cares enough to read it…
Commendable but in all honesty, I don’t think it will go very far. Let’s not forget that psychiatry’s two pillars are money (Big Pharma and greedy psychiatrists) and politics (governments’ desire for social control). No government is going to give up the ability to “scientifically” incarcerate people it doesn’t like.
Well said. Also need to remember that forced treatment exists in every country in the world. Most countries are signatries to the UN!!
This is really important. This report could be used in all sorts of ways to lobby a wide variety of people.
This is a long struggle and this could be an important part of it.
The United States tends to use the U.N. when it supports our purposes and we totally ignore, or pay lip service to it, when it doesn’t suit our purposes. I expect that our government will choose to ignore this or find some reason why it can’t abide by it. It sounds great and I admire the man for putting this together, but this country won’t abide by it at all.
“This country,” splits into sub-groups and there will be people who will take note of this that would not take note of other arguments such as Whittaker’s arguments on the effectivenss of the drugs.
To win it is necersarry to influence as many people in as many groups as possible. There will be some USA politicians and some human rights groups and some disability activists who could be moved by this and therefore it could help build a larger social/political force