UK Royal Calls for Changes in Forced Detention Laws


The Duchess of Hamilton is calling for changes in Scotland’s Mental Health Act, saying that her late husband’s death had been hastened by antipsychotics she believed were unnecessarily prescribed. “I thought,” she said, “if this can happen to the Duke of Hamilton, what chance has Joe Bloggs got?”

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. And the Dowager Duchess of Hamilton has signed this petition “Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to amend the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 to ensure that it is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.”:

    Petitioner is W Hunter Watson, a human rights campaigner, from Aberdeen, Scotland.

    Here is another article in the Scottish Express, from 5 October 2013, which mentions this petition and the Duke of Hamilton, who was the Premier Peer of Scotland:

    It says “Lady Hamilton, who lives in East Lothian, said friends had likened the conditions to something out of the novel and movie One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.”

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  2. To add, the Duke of Hamilton was the “Hereditary Keeper of the Palace of Holyrood house”, and “bore the Crown from the Honours of Scotland to the opening of the re-convened Scottish Parliament (1999) in which his ancestors had played major roles from the creation of the Dukedom in 1643”.

    See his obituary in the Independent, 9 June 2010:

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  3. Will the UK need to amend the Magna Carta to protect the rights of people who’ve been labeled? Will the US need to amend the Constitution?

    What’s it gonna take for world governments to wake up to the obvious? Forced treatment is a violation of the *person*, the – at a profound level. Some, including myself, would say at a spiritual level, an interference of the journey of the *soul*…. a violation of natural law.


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