Friday, January 15, 2021

Comments by ICampbell-Taylor

Showing 2 of 2 comments.

  • I have had a few patients who fit what is usually referred to as “bipolar disorder” – periods of mania followed by periods of depression – but very rarely. It is grossly over-diagnosed and in children? Rubbish! When the APA decided that there was a category called “autistic spectrum disorders” suddenly millions of children were so diagnosed making millions more patients.
    The DSM is not based on any real evidence but is useful for billing. After all, one won’t get paid without a billing code.

  • The following may be instructive in this context. The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Starson v. Swayze, [2003] 1 S.C.R. 722, 2003 SCC 32, (Patient refusing consent to proposed medical treatment for bipolar disorder…. Physicians finding patient not capable of making treatment decisions because of a psychiatric disorder that he acknowledged.) allows informed refusal of medications even by a patient with a diagnosed psychiatric disorder. The presiding judge stated “HCCA (Health Act) confronts the difficult problem of when a mentally ill person may refuse treatment. The problem is difficult because it sets in opposition fundamental values which we hold dear. The first is the value of autonomy — the ability of each person to control his or her body and consequently, to decide what medical treatment he or she will receive. The second value is effective medical treatment — that people who are ill should receive treatment and that illness itself should not deprive an individual of the ability to live a full and complete life. A third value — societal protection — comes into play in some cases of mental illness. Where the mentally ill person poses a threat of injury to other people or to him– or herself, it may be justified to impose hospitalization on the basis that this is necessary in the interests of public safety The right to refuse unwanted medical treatment is fundamental to a person’s dignity and autonomy. This right is equally important in the context of treatment for mental illness….Few medical procedures can be more intrusive than the forcible injection of powerful mind-altering drugs which are often accompanied by severe and sometimes irreversible adverse side effects……… As the reviewing judge observed, “[a] competent patient has the absolute entitlement to make decisions that any reasonable person would deem foolish”. This point was aptly stated by Quinn J. in Koch (Re) (1997), 33 O.R. (3d) 485 (Gen.Div.), at p. 521:The right knowingly to be foolish is not unimportant; the right to voluntarily assume risks is to be respected. The State has no business meddling with either. The dignity of the individual is at stake.
    In this case, the only issue before the Board was whether Professor Starson was capable of making a decision on the suggested medical treatment. The wisdom of his decision has no bearing on this determination…The Board must avoid the error of equating the presence of a mental disorder with incapacity. Here, the respondent did not forfeit his right to self-determination upon
    admission to the psychiatric facility…The reviewing judge properly held that the Board’s finding of incapacity was
    unreasonable, and that the Board misapplied the statutory test for capacity. There is no basis to find that either of the courts below erred on the evidentiary issues that were raised by the appellant. Accordingly, I would dismiss the appeal.
    The patient was granted the right to refuse medications and seek psychotherapy.