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.