Forced Treatment


What Is Forced Treatment?

In simple terms, forced treatment is anything that occurs against a patient's express will not to have such treatment. At the upper end of the scale this would include forcible restraint, forced injections of medication, coercive CTO's, forcible institutionalisation or hospitalisation and forced or non-consensual treatment of any sort, and especially ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) or psychosurgery (modern lobotomy). The end result of forced treatment is a person who no longer trusts the system or their carers to do the best for them in a crisis or even in a daily situation. Fear of these kinds of violations of human rights serves only to drive people who need mental health services away from the system and onto the streets or into hiding. Ask yourself how willing you would be to be someone whose freedom of movement and being was subject to the whims and will of an arbitrary and unjust system. Most of you would flee in horror from such an apparition and "people who" experience the oppression of such a system often fall by the wayside. They fall out of the safety net of support that should be something they can take for granted, but can't as mental health laws become increasingly rationalised and institutionalised.


Before you jump to conclusions about how these laws are necessary to protect the innocent from random acts of violence that may be visited upon them due to a mentally ill person run amok, think as if this person who has never been violent to another is your sister, brother or other loved one. Would you want a system that forced your loved one to give up all rights to self-determination? Would you want them coerced by a bureaucratic system of uncaring and unaware mental health professionals? I am not urging you to join the ranks of the anti-psychiatry movement, but I am definitely urging you to walk a mile in your loved one's shoes before acquiescing to forced treatment of any kind. Were you ill, would you want the same restrictions visited on yourself and your ability to choose the help you know will do you the most good? Frequently there are much [LINK] better alternatives and we all have a duty to see that human rights do not go unheeded. Are you willing to become a watcher to keep those rights or will you be one of the ones who buries mental health rights beneath a rationalised health care system that ignores basic human freedoms?