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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm freaking out here. Not like me to go into panic mode over a news item, but anyway... You know the saga about the draft Mental Health Bill in the UK, which includes possibilities about detaining people if they don't take their medication?(see http://society.guardian.co.uk/mentalhealth...,836476,00.html for a Q&A on the Mental Health Bill)Well, I just read a news story which was highlighting concerns raised by one group that the definition of 'mental illness' was too broad. The definition in the Bill is:
quote: "any disability or disorder of the mind or brain, which results in impairment or disturbance of mental functioning".http://society.guardian.co.uk/mentalhealth...,836476,00.html
http://society.guardian.co.uk/mentalhealth...,836476,00.html[/QUOTE The news report was commenting that this could include conditions such as epilepsy and diabeties. Well, couldn't it include M.E/CFS as well? I mean, cognitive dysfunction is one of the main symptoms of M.E/CFS, and also Fibromyalgia for that matter. Could patients be detained against their will if they refuse to participate in 'treatments' such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?Here's some info: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/homeaffairs...,838023,00.html
quote:Mental health bill sparks human rights fears David BattyMonday November 11, 2002 The powers of the government's draft mental health bill are so broad that they could be used to sanction the compulsory treatment of people with epilepsy and diabetes, MPs and peers have warned....The committee warned that the definitions of mental disorder and medical treatment in the bill were "too broad" and went "much further than necessary to ensure that dangerous people can be removed from situations in which they put themselves or others at risk".In a report on the draft bill published today, it warns that the proposals could lead to mental health law being used to compulsorily treat drug addicts, alcoholics, people with learning disabilities, and illnesses that adversely affect mental functioning, including epilepsy and diabetes.
I really feel that as moderator I shouldn't be posting something so alarmist, but I needed to talk to you guys. I'm totally freaked by this. I'm sorry if any of you feel this post is inappropriate, I will delete it if you do feel that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
If that's left you anxious or worried, try reading this for some light-hearted but basically serious jibes and reassurances: http://society.guardian.co.uk/mentalhealth...,820178,00.html
quote:You don't have to be mad... The proposed Mental Health Bill, and a few spiteful neighbours, could put us all in the asylum Nick CohenSunday October 27, 2002The Observer...Whitehall wants to give everyone the right to call an NHS trust and insist that its psychiatrists examine a citizen you think is dangerous. The trust can't refuse, and I'm sure rejected lovers and spiteful neighbours will enjoy using this nark's power to the full. The Alliance should warn that it will require the Westminster NHS Trust to examine Tony Blair (Psychotic Delusions of Grandeur), David Blunkett (Explosive Personality Disorder), Alan Milburn (Attention Deficit Disorder), Estelle Morris (Masochistic Personality Disorder) and Gordon Brown (Generalised Anxiety Disorder
 

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just stay calm susan,i doutb the gov would have the money,let alone the room to put everybody if they started doing that,lol.can you imagen?us nuts in the USA just got booted OUT of the instutions not long ago,i dont think they`ll start locking us up again.lol.seriously,do you think they would really do that?
 

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Rarely would this fact be comforting, but perhaps in this circumstance it is: Most people don't think of FM or CFS as "real" disorders anyway. I would be highly angered if that cognitive dysfunction that we have to work so HARD to prove to get ANY benefits (and are disbelieved 95% of the time) would suddenly be believed just in time for it to be detrimental. Governments sure get their priorities mixed up sometimes
 

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Susan,As usual the british government is going in half-cocked about mental illness. Having worked for the Inland Revenue for example for 5 years - I am used to seeing these silly draft legislation pieces that aim to do one thing and probably end up doing another - and end up having to be re-written....I seriously doubt they will start locking us CFS/ME sufferers up!and if they do.....well it will be nice to know the rent is taken care of by her majesties government
Seriously Susan, don't let this worry you - human rights groups wouldn't let this one stand - neither would I - and I'd be first outside number.10 throwing eggs if it did.
Clair
 

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There isn't enough money to lock us all up!Having worked as a social worker for many years I have to say I welcome this type of legislation. In the US anyway its been so hard to help people who are extremely mentally ill and out on the street. I've actually had patients freeze to death in the winter because they don't know enough to come in from the cold even though a shelter was available.I'd like to be optimistic and think this ruling in the UK is aimed at folks who are severely mentally disabled to the point where they can't feed or clothe themselves and are in danger of dying due to exposure or starvation. Thats the kind of legislation my collegues and I were hoping to see in the States.Cheers, kestral
 

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Sorry, i saw this and had to put my oar in!The government would be in serious trouble if they started locking up ME sufferers. Its just not viable. And above all just not right anyway!Susan, i don't think you need to worry. They would end up having to lock up the whole country. Especially tony blair.
 

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Hi Susan,I think you have a valid concern here. Perhaps it isn't viable for the gov't to start locking up everyone with ME/CFS, but the true concern here is that the law could be interpeted and misused to persecute some.And while most of us look at such laws and shake our heads, thinking this couldn't happen, let us never forget that it was laws just like this that allowed the persecution of thousands of women as witches, and the murder of millions of Jews in Germany. Obviously there wouldn't be a mass round up of CFS/ME patients, but these things always start out small, a person here, a person there until one day, you look around and everyone is gone.If we allow a law to be passed, simply based on the idea/hope that it probably won't be used, I think we are all in danger. There are countless times in history when obscure laws have been used to discriminate against a segment of the population, and those not affected by it looked the other way. This is a law that, under no circumstances should be allowed to pass, if not for the healthy majority who may not always be well, then at least for the minority who will be abused by it.If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water,it will jump out, but if you put that frog in a pot of cold water and slowly turn up the heat, the frog will allow itself to be boiled alive. The moral of this piece of info, don't ignore things just because they are slow getting started.And, one more point, every major injustice in the world began with a group of people who didn't think it would be a big deal. Thats my opinion anyway, for what its worth.
 

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Good point LoriAnn. You're spot on.So Susan, is there an update on this story? How goes it?
 

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Well the latest I heard is that this legislation has been put on the backburner for the time-being because of its controversial nature.The Minister for Health has received over 2000 complaints and comments on the draft legislation from patient groups, and these are to be studied before the draft is re-edited for submission to parliament.I think the issue we need to look at here is that this legislation is not intended to cover sufferers of CFS/ME - it is aimed at sufferers of mental health problems that pose a risk to society or themselves e.g. paranoid scizophrenia.However, by poor choice of terminology and definition we somehow are accidentally included....this is what need's re-addressing how the government classify 'mental health'.Clair
 
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