I can agree that all the treatment I received involuntarily was indeed torture.
IF someone decides not to have chemotherapy in Victoria; that’s their choice.
If they want to opt out of an organ transplant, or forego taking daily insulin injections; people have that right.
But if you have a mental illness in this state and you refuse treatment, you will most likely be treated against your will.
This emotional and ethically fraught debate of whether someone with a mental illness has the insight to rationally refuse treatment is bread and butter for Tina Minkowitz.
Ms Minkowitz, one of the world’s leading human rights lawyers in the areas of mental health and disability, tackled these issues as guest speaker at the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations’ conference in Melbourne last week.
The New York resident is also co-chair of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, a movement that sees involuntary mental health treatment as paramount to torture.
And her visit, in which she stayed in Eltham, was timely given Victoria is undergoing the first comprehensive review for more than two decades of its Mental Health Act – the laws surrounding the involuntary treatment of the state’s most unwell.
Harmful, not helpful
Ms Minkowitz, who played a key role in the drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, said often the best intentions from medical professionals were often actually more traumatic than therapeutic. (rest of article)