Mental Health Patients Overlooked in Compulsory Treatment


From The Sydney Morning Herald: A new review found that mental health patients’ decision-making capacity is very rarely considered in court rulings on involuntary treatment.

“The authors reviewed 348 decisions made by the tribunal and found only in a very small number did tribunal members explicitly consider a patient’s decision-making capacity when making findings about their involuntary treatment.

The research appears in the latest issue of the International Journal of Mental and Capacity Law.

Where the tribunal does consider decision-making capacity, it does it in a way that is inconsistent, and not in line with the state’s mental health laws, the review authors say.

‘People shouldn’t be treated differently because they have a mental illness, that’s discrimination,’ says RMIT review author Dr Chris Maylea.

‘People with mental illness, and who are able to make decisions, should be able to make them just like everyone else.'”

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  1. “Mentally ill” people are assumed to be cognitively incapable of rational, critical thinking and treated as if their intelligence is lacking. This is yet another impact of “diagnosing” distress and implying that it is a life long issue. It easier to oppress someone when they have no voice.

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