Petition Closed
Petitioning Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000 NSW Legislative Assembly and 1 other
This petition will be delivered to:
Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000
NSW Legislative Assembly
Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000
NSW Legislative Council

NSW Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council: Ban ECT for children, pregnant women and the eldery & Keep the ban on psychosurgery in place

Did you know that the current NSW law allows for children to be electroshocked without parental consent? And that any involuntary patient can be electroshocked without their own consent?

The NSW Mental Health Act is under review and some of the points raised for the review are of considerable concern. Patient and parental rights must be protected in our mental health law. This is a summary of two key points proposed or currently in the existing law that need to be changed.

ELECTROSHOCK (ECT): Did you know that the current law allows for children to be electroshocked in some cases even without parental consent? The brutal application of hundreds of volts of electricity to the head potentially causing brain damage, memory loss and sometimes death. The current law allows for 14-year-old voluntary patients considered to have the capacity to consent, to agree to ECT if two medical practitioners (one a psychiatrist) sign a certificate saying it is needed. No further consent is needed, including the child’s parents

ECT can also be given to children and adults who are involuntary patients without personal or parental consent, if two medical practitioners (one a psychiatrist) sign a certificate saying it is needed and apply to the Mental Health Review Tribunal for consent. This is a gross violation of human rights. ECT should be banned, but especially for use on children, pregnant women and the elderly. 

PSYCHOSURGERY: Psychosurgery is currently and correctly banned in NSW and the NT for all age groups, yet psychiatrists want this ban lifted so they can perform brain-damaging surgery and deep brain stimulation (DBS), which even a leading US DBS psychiatrist, Steven Rasmussen admits: “This really is a kind of mind control….” Experts criticize DBS as a costly mistake, as it has not been proven to be safe and effective. Psychosurgery destroys healthy brain tissue and is an obsolete and dangerous—even deadly—practice. Psychosurgery can involve cutting or burning the brain or electrodes can be permanently placed in the brain sending an electrical current through it, as in the case of DBS. It can cause memory loss, irreversible brain damage, bleeding in the brain and post-operative death. Psychosurgery must remain prohibited in NSW. 

 

Please sign my petition and help me ensure that patient and parent rights are kept protected by NSW law. 

 


Letter to
Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000 NSW Legislative Assembly
Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000 NSW Legislative Council
PETITION

To the Honourable the Speaker/President and Members of the
Legislative Assembly/Council of New South Wales.

The Petition of concerned Australians.

Brings to the attention of the House that the NSW Mental Health Act is under review and some of the points raised in the Discussion Paper for the review are of considerable concern. Clear protections and full transparency are called for so that patient and parental rights are protected in our mental health law. There are two key points proposed or currently in the existing law that need to be changed.

ELECTROSHOCK (ECT) OF CHILDREN, PREGNANT WOMEN & THE ELDERY: In this day and age, it is appalling that the current law allows for children to be electroshocked – the brutal application of hundreds of volts of electricity to the head potentially causing brain damage, memory loss and sometimes death. The current law allows for 14-year-old voluntary patients considered to have the capacity to consent, to agree to ECT if two medical practitioners (one a psychiatrist) sign a certificate saying it is needed. No further consent is needed, including the child’s parents. ECT can also be given to children and adults who are involuntary patients without personal or parental consent, if two medical practitioners (one a psychiatrist) sign a certificate saying it is needed and apply to the Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) for consent. A total of 30,539 electroshocks were given in NSW in 2009/10. ECT should be banned, but especially for use on children, pregnant women and the elderly. Should it remain, ECT should never be given without the full informed consent of involuntary patients. [s93, s94, s96 of MHA 2007 and DP, p. 40]

PSYCHOSURGERY: Psychosurgery is currently and correctly banned in NSW and the NT for all age groups, yet psychiatrists want this ban lifted so they can perform brain-damaging surgery and deep brain stimulation (DBS), which even a leading US DBS psychiatrist, Steven Rasmussen admits: “This really is a kind of mind control….” Experts criticize DBS as a costly mistake, as it has not been proven to be safe and effective. Psychosurgery destroys healthy brain tissue and is an obsolete and dangerous—even deadly—practice. Psychosurgery can involve cutting or burning the brain or electrodes can be permanently placed in the brain sending an electrical current through it, as in the case of DBS. It can cause memory loss, irreversible brain damage, bleeding in the brain and post-operative death. Psychosurgery must remain prohibited in NSW. [Discussion Paper [DP]: September 2012, Issues arising under the NSW Mental Health Act 2007, pp.41, 42 and s83 (1) of NSW Mental Health Act 2007 (MHA 2007)]

The undersigned petitioners therefore ask the Legislative Assembly/Council to immediately ban electroshock therapy for infants, children, pregnant women and the elderly and continue the ban on psychosurgery.