electroshock for wa kidsThe Western Australian state legislature has put forward a draft bill revising the state's Mental Health Act that will in effect take the right of informed consent away from parents and empower childresn as young as 12 to consent to sterlisation procedures, electroshock therapy and psychosurgery. Mental Health Practicioners will also be given additional powers to involuntarily detain children for 3 months at a time beyond an initial 14 days if "suspected" of a mental illness.

The New Mental Health Act Synopsis - (Credit to Alison Tarrant, Director of Applied Scholastics Western Australia):

CHILDREN OF ANY AGE TO CONSENT TO STERILISATION: If a psychiatrist decides that a child (under 18 years) has sufficient maturity, he or she will be able to consent to sterilisation. Parental consent will not be needed. Only after the sterilisation procedure has been performed does it have to be reported and then only to the Chief Psychiatrist. [Pages: 135 & 136 of the Draft Mental Health Bill 2011]

12 YEAR OLDS WILL BE ABLE TO CONSENT TO PSYCHOSURGERY: Banned in N.S.W. and the N.T., psychosurgery irreversibly damages the brain by surgery, burning or inserting electrodes. This draft bill proposes to allow a 12 year old child, if considered to be sufficiently mature by a psychiatrist, to be able to consent to psychosurgery. Once the child has consented it goes before the Mental Health Tribunal (MHT) for approval. Parental consent is also not needed for the MHT to approve the psychosurgery. [Pages: 108, 109, 110, 197,198, 199, 213]

12 YEAR OLDS WILL BE ABLE TO CONSENT TO ELECTROSHOCK (ECT): Electroshock is hundreds of volts of electricity to the head.  Any child aged 12 and over, whom a child and adolescent psychiatrist decides is “mature” enough, will be able to consent to electroshock.  Also, once consent is given, there is no requirement for parents or anyone, including the MHT, to approve the electroshock. Electroshock should be banned. Its use on the elderly, pregnant women and children is especially destructive. [Pages: 100, 101, 103, 104, 194, 105]

RESTRAINT AND SECLUSION OF CHILDREN: Children can be restrained in a psychiatric institution, with the use of mechanical restraint (manacles, belts, straps etc.) and bodily force. Chemical restraint – the use of psychiatric drugs to subdue and control the person – is not covered in the draft bill, so there are no legal safeguards to prevent its application. Death can result from all forms of restraint. [Pages: 122, 121, 113, 246]

INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT OF CHILDREN: A psychiatrist can involuntarily detain any child for up to 14 days if “suspected” of mental illness. Parents will not be able to discharge their child during this period and take them home. The psychiatrist can then make a “continuation order” to continue the detainment for up to 3 months and thereafter for each subsequent 3 month period. During detainment, the child could be drugged, restrained, secluded, given electroshock if over 12 and could be put into a ward with adults. Parental consent is not required to continue the detainment or for any treatment, including the child being placed on a legal order to continue to receive drugs at home. The MHT hold hearings on the detainment of a child, but there is no guarantee the child will be able to go home. In 2010/11 there were 1,248 hearings for all ages and only 58 people had their status changed from involuntary to voluntary. [Pages: 21, 22, 35, 19, 107, 36, 53, 54, 183 -185, 190, 191, 213, 214,18, 46, 47, 48, 65, 66, 70, 73, 75-77]

WHO WILL BE ABLE TO DETAIN A CHILD IS NOT FULLY KNOWN: An “authorised mental health practitioner” can also detain a child or adult in the draft bill. Exactly who an authorised mental health practitioner is, is not defined by the draft bill. The Chief Psychiatrist can literally give anyone or any profession the power to detain someone just because he considers they are qualified and by publishing the decision in the Gazette. This clause must be removed from the Draft Mental Health Bill 2011. Only a judge or magistrate should have the power to order someone be detained, and only with full legal representation for the person facing depravation of liberty [Pages: 246, 247, 21, 22]

 

The existing legislation is an abomination of natural rights as it stands: involuntary detention of suspected "at risk" individuals gives mental health professionals sweeping powers of imprisonment without evidence or legal recourse. One can only imagine the abuses that would arise from such a Eugenics on steroids version of the Mental Health Act should it pass into legislation.

How can such abominable laws be passed in a free country like Australia? The truth is that this country is not free and the veneer of civility that we enjoy within our culture can only be maintained if we are eternally vigilant against all forms of government enforced tyranny.

 

Feedback for this legislation closes on 9 March 2012

 


 

Sources:

http://sovereignindependent.co.uk/2012/03/04/proposed-new-mental-health-bill-australia-children-to-be-sterilized-12-year-clds-can-consent-to-psychosurgery-and-electroshock/

http://www.mentalhealth.wa.gov.au/mentalhealth_changes/mh_legislation.aspx

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