Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Be afraid. Very afraid!

I have been considering the news, reported on Sunday in the Mail on Sunday, that the government has set up the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre.

This deals with people who have a fixation with people who are famous and in power, for example the Prime minister, cabinet and Royal family.

In some, if not many ways that is fair enough, however this unit has attached a number of psychiatric staff, who between them can do all the paperwork it takes to section someone.

Again, in principle, if a unit is looking for mentally unstable people who could pose a threat to VIP's, it makes some sense to have someone on hand to be able to assess if they are mentally ill.

So far so good. Ish.

Then, we have another issue which is the upcoming new Mental Health bill. According to the same article Andrew Lansley, the Conservative shadow Health Secretary has expressed concerns that the bill may include as mentally ill people who hold odd cultural, political or religious beliefs.

Here are my serious concerns.

Firstly, that a psychiatrist attached to a unit can sign the paper work rather than passing the responsibility to an independent practitioner who has no axe to grind or targets to meet.

Secondly I have a very large problem with the extension of the definition of mental illnesses that could lead to people being sectioned to people with 'odd' views.

Those who know will know that the one country that could guarantee your human rights, freedom of speech and so on, because it was written in 10 foot high letters of flame in the constitution, was the USSR.

It got around its own laws by having removed any independence of its judiciary, (issues have been raised about the creation of the Ministry of Justice) and by locking up other people on the grounds of mental illness.

We need to be very careful about what happens next.

Dizzy has this, and Guido has this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If B’Liar is that worried about his safety then he should confess his crimes. He’ll get all the security he needs in prison.