There is a Bill being rammed through the legislature right now entitled Bill 95. It is a Bill that has been drafted for the (purported) purpose to “improve access to mental health services in Ontario” as apparently, we are in the midst of a “mental health crisis”. Seems to be flying below the radar.
A Bill goes through 3 readings after which, it becomes law. Bill 95 has been through 2 readings, which means it has been put forward to the legislature two times and there’s been a debate and it has been moved on to the next phase (a Bill can either move forward or it can be squashed). This Bill has one more reading and if it goes through – it’s the law… And nobody knows about it!!!
This is Bill is something right out of Communist Russia.
Let’s just jump right in to what I believe are the most important parts, or those changes that can have the biggest impact in our lives.
This one’s a biggie.
Recommendation #21: “The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care should create a task force incorporating adequate representation from among others, mental health clients and their caregivers as well as mental health law experts, to investigate and propose changes to Ontario’s mental health legislation and policy pertaining to involuntary admission and treatment. The changes should ensure that involuntary admission criteria include serious harms that are not merely physical, and that involuntary admission entails treatment. This task force should report back to the Ministry within one year of the adoption of this report by the legislative assembly.”
What does that even mean “serious harms that are not merely physical”? And who decides?
At this time, ‘involuntary admission’ currently requires that “you are a harm to yourself or others or, threatening violence”. They want to change that requirement to a threat of psychological harm. “Serious harms that are not merely physical.”
If you are an addict you could be picked up and involuntarily committed at which point there will no longer be a 72 hour wait or observation – there will be mandatory treatment and that mandatory treatment will be whatever that doctor deems appropriate. That treatment can include drugs, E.C.T. (electro-convulsive therapy – which your average Joe believes isn’t done anymore) or the newly defined (friendlier) cingulotomy*, which is really just a nicer name for lobotomy. Yes, it’s become fashionable again.
Oh, it gets better folks. A throw-away paragraph in Bill 95 is to implement “expeditiously” the recommendations of the 19 people on the 2010 Select Committee On Mental Health and Addictions**. That means “bye bye informed consent!” And here’s the kicker – you have no choice on what treatment you will receive. It’s beyond belief.
So how does that differ from the way it works now? When they follow the law (which, putting it mildly isn’t always the way – and they admit this ) the person has the right to refuse treatment as long as they are not violent or a potential harm to self or others. (IF they are deemed any of the above, a patient can be treated against his will).
The removal of informed consent means that nobody has to be consulted, nobody has to give consent. You are in deep trouble brother. The caregivers can automatically treat and “explain later”.
So here we have 19 people in place who we don’t get to choose who will arbitrarily decide the standards of treatment. They don’t even have to tell you what the treatment is going to be or its side effects and you will have no choice but to be drugged into oblivion – or shocked or cut open.
This committee dismisses utterly (but mention it in passing) the gross side effects of psychotropic drugs and the COMPLETE lack of tested efficacy of drug treatment for addiction or mental illness.
It is being proposed to remove autonomy completely. What this means is “the right to choose”. Your right to choose. So, a patient (mental or otherwise) will have no rights to decide his own fate. The current rules of the Healthcare Consent Act 1996 state that “all individuals have the right to refuse treatment as long as they pass a two pronged capacity test.”
The Select Committee believes, however, and I quote: “that the right to autonomy must be balanced with the right to be well”. WTF!?!?!
At least there was SOME outward appearance of scientific protocol. Now it’s a free for all. Psychiatrists will have full license, full liberty under the law to drug, shock, operate – anything goes. And psychiatrists can come up with (and have done so) some pretty crazy ‘treatments’.
They also recommend changing the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.
Recommendation #22: The task force created to investigate and propose changes to Ontario’s Mental Health legislation and policy should also investigate and propose changes to the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004. The changes should ensure that family members and caregivers providing support to, and often living with, an individual with a mental illness or addiction have access to the personal health information necessary to provide that support, to prevent the further deterioration in the health of that individual, and to minimize the risk of serious psychological or physical harm.”
Seems innocuous. Seems legit right?
Well here’s a scenario. Nephew Fred has rich Aunt Betty, who’s in her 80’s. Aunt Betty is perfectly sane but is getting older. She is not dramatizing serious harms that are not merely physical. Or is she? What does that even mean? She’s a bit forgetful. Not so steady on her feet anymore. Fred gets access to her medical records, sees that Aunt Betty has been getting forgetful, has had a few falls and notices a couple of other problems stated in her records. So he contacts the ‘mobile crisis unit’ who come by and do an instant assessment of Aunt Betty, resulting in her being involuntary committed. Whereupon she is immediately restrained, drugged, and incarcerated in an institution and might well stay there for as long as her medical coverage continues. And in Ontario, Canada that’s a very long time. Until the day she dies.
Fred now, armed with evidence that Aunt Betty is suffering from serious harms that are not merely physical can get access to Aunt Betty’s money. She’s now safely tucked away, against her will for time immemorial. You see, she has no right to refuse treatment.
The Mental Health Act of 1974 had put an end to this kind of abuse. You know, where the husband was fed up with a wife and so had her committed. Much cheaper than a divorce and very easy to do.
On this autonomy issue. Say you have Power of Attorney over a parent AND your parent is in a nursing home. Now you would think that you would have the power to prevent harmful treatment or drugging of your parent. No you don’t. Not if this parent is deemed a serious harm that is not merely physical.
This act of the doctor ‘KNOWING BEST’ for the patient (your parent), removes YOUR ability to make those decisions. Because you represent the individual and the individual has no right to refuse treatment. They don’t have to consult you, they don’t have to get your consent.
My point is, this Act will FORCE IN TREATMENT WITH NO PROOF THAT THAT TREATMENT WILL ACTUALLY WORK. Psychiatrists readily admit that their treatments don’t cure.
I read all the time about the ‘stigma of mental illness’. What does that mean exactly? Perhaps we could say that it’s a sign of disgrace or discredit, which sets a person apart from others and remains a powerful negative attribute in social relations.
I would argue that the real stigma of mental illness is saying that mental patients haven’t got the right to choose.
Psychiatrists cringe every time they hear the violent crimes that the patients are committing – yet the majority of these patients are all on the ‘treatments’ given to them by the psychiatrists. Talk to any psych survivor. There are now at least 100 ‘psych survivor’ groups on the internet, trying to warn others about the harm done to them – in the name of ‘help’. Trying to find a reason or gain recourse for the injustices done to them by psychiatry. There are hundreds of biographies written by people who have been through the psychiatric system and somehow managed to survive. Horror stories.
And we’re going to give them this power?
You know what we SHOULD be doing? Calling for an inquiry into the cover up of deaths from psychiatric treatment. That’s what actually needs to be done.
You must get treatment, you must get treatment. There is no guarantee that their treatment does anything but line the pockets of the whole mental health industry. This is a money grab so cloaked in “we must help these people” that it makes me want to puke.
The elephant in the room is that they are enforcing something on you with absolutely NO EVIDENCE THAT IT WILL RESOLVE THE PROBLEM and in fact may kill you.
Let’s take an example. Oxi-cotin – deadly addiction. Currently a psychiatry recommended and approved treatment – methadone, paid for by our tax dollars. How is a meth addict any better than an oxi addict? How many revert? The committee keep going back to the Vancouver ‘’treatment’ laws. Have you seen the devastation in the heart of downtown Vancouver?
Like I said. It’s so Communist Russian. You can rat out your neighbor – anybody you like. Accuse them of being an addict, or mentally ill in some way, The person accused doesn’t even have to be dramatizing ANYTHING and will be immediately treated – thereby guaranteeing they are now mentally ill where they weren’t before. And the mental health industry can ring up the till in thousands of dollars in “treatment’ until you die. Which probably shouldn’t take too long, considering the treatments, and you have absolutely no right to stop them.
Because Wellness – for which there is no definition, trumps autonomy. And autonomy ladies and gentleman is our God given right. We have the right to be treated as human beings, not as a pawn in the Mental Health shell game.
At the end of the day, who the fuck are these “experts”, who have never cured anything, to decide for you and me?
**CINGULOTOMY – Is a form of psycho-surgery, introduced in 1948 as an alternative to lobotomy. Today it is used mainly in the treatment of depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
**2010 SELECT COMMITTEE ON MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS – are the committee that was selected by the Lieutenent Governor (whom I know nothing about at this time, but I sure am interested).
Please write, or better yet go talk to an MPP. Use every contact you have to let them know. Our Human Rights are being taken away from us.
Here is a link to our MPPS ONTARIO.