Friday, June 8, 2018

Garth Daniels - at The Park - Wacol

"...waive any claims or rights which may lie against the Park
in respect of any loss or damage howsoever caused."
Nothing about patients?

Tuesday 5th June 2018 Garth Daniels (hand-cuffed )was taken by ambulance from the Park-Wacol escorted by police to the Emergency Department (ED) at the Ipswich Hospital.  There are no emergency facilities at the Parks-Wacol. 

The Daniels family were contacted by whom it is understood, is Garth Daniels treating and consultant psychiatrist at the Park-Wacol, Dr. Julian Dodemaide.  The parents were informed that Garth presented with medical problems serious enough for the psychiatric Registrar to make the call that Garth be taken to the Ipswich Hospital Emergency Department. 

It has been confirmed that Garth Daniels has been in isolation since being medicated by the on-call registrar on 19 May 2018.   The parents advise that they have only been permitted to visit Garth on two occasions so far.  This is due to the fact that Garth is not allowed visitors when in isolation. To date it is alleged that Garth has now been isolated continuously for 23 hours each day.  This no doubt the Daniels family find very disturbing. But wouldn't you if it were your son or daughter?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Garth Daniels - and then came a spider


"United Nations General Assembly. Human Rights Council:

(The) United Nations treaty bodies have established that involuntary treatment and other psychiatric interventions in health-care are forms of torture and ill-treatment.  Forced interventions, often wrongfully justified by theories of incapacity and therapeutic necessity inconsistent with the Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), are legitimized under national laws, and may enjoy wide public support as being in the alleged "best interest" of the person concerned.  Nevertheless, to the extent that they inflict severe pain and suffering, they violate the absolute probation of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment(A/63/175.paras.38,40,41)."

April 2018
a real coffee unlike what is provided within the Secure Mental Health Research Unit (SMHRU) at The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH). Despite the LCT Garth remained confined to the "cage" twenty-one hours within every twenty-four hour period.  Other than when Garth more recently was permitted to spend several hours at home with his parents.

Three hours of "bliss" freedom
 LCT from The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH)Secure Mental Health Research Unit (SMHRU) thanks to the treating consultant psychiatrist Dr. Natasha Laukens.

Garth at his favourite coffee shop in the shopping mall Chermside.
"Is this a risk to the community or self Dr. John Reilly?"

Reflection on health with his  mum 

 the ever enthusiastic photographer looking to capture a moment

Freedom!. "Is there anything violent here ? Does this not promote recovery?'"

LCT 2018
on campus leave with parents
LCT 2018
Off hospital grounds leave- a stroll in the Park Chermside.
"What! A threat to the community?"

LCT 2018
A walk through the Chermside Shopping Mall.
LCT 2018
Garths favourite past time, having a real brewed coffee
Roma Street Botanical Gardens Brisbane.
Where is the threat?


On 27 April 2018 the Chief Psychiatrist of Queensland Dr. John Reilly informed Garth that it was his opinion that continuing treatment at TPCH restricts treatment and rehabilitation opportunities that could promote Garths recovery.

Consequently, the Chief Psychiatrists DECIDED that the best place for Garth to receive treatment and care that would promote his recovery is at The Parks-High Security Inpatient Services(HSIS).  Dr. Reilly directed that Garth be transferred by 11 May 2018.

The Parks-HSIS 7:00am Saturday 19 May 2018 it is alleged Garth told a staff member to "phuck-off" initiating a "code-black" and as a consequence Garth has been placed in solitary confinement. What a way to promote recovery?  What a web of deceit!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Garth Daniels - Subliminal Sapien

"...affecting the wise mind without being aware if it."

  medical discoveries or medical research - consent or coercion?

"...passivity or silent acquiescence on the part of the larger society allows the reality construction to spread into more and more spheres of political and social life until it is sufficiently anchored in law, custom and discourse to define what is right and wrong and what is permissible and what is not...."

Ronald D. Crelinsten ". The world of torture. A constructed reality. p.303. Theoretical Criminology .Sage Publications, London.2003.

 A word to the Australian government, extract of the submission 
around e-petition ENO360 2017
  • "Article 2(2) of the Convention Against Torture, states that "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or threat of war, internal political instability public emergency may be invoked as justification of torture." The UN Convention Against Torture prohibits the use of torture under any circumstances."

  • "The UN Principles of Medical Ethics relevant to the Role of Health Personnel, particularly Physicians, in the Protection of Prisoners and Detainees against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UN 1982) applies specifically to medical and other health workers".

  • "Why does the United Nations consider forced psychiatric drugging as inhuman, torture?                                                                                                                                                                        One of the answers exists in the nature of medication-induced effects, often called adverse drug reactions (ADRs'). Psychiatric(Mind Altering Drugs) MAD create a torturous state. As stated in the PI for temazapam "CNS and paradoxical reactions. As with other benzodiazepines and CNS active drugs, three idiosyncratic symptom clusters, which may overlap, have been described. Amnestic symptoms: anterograde amnesia with appropriate or inappropriate behavior; confusional states: disorientation, derealisation, depersonalization and/or  clouding of consciousness; and agitational states: sleep disturbances, restlessness, irritability, aggression and excitation."        This can be located on the TGA website                                                                                                                                                        
  • Benzodiazepine effects are comparable to the effects of torture described by Dr. Shmuel Vaknin- " Torture robs the victim of the most basic modes of relating to reality and thus, is the equivalent of cognitive death. Space and time are warped by sleep deprivation. The "self" (I) is shattered. The tortured have nothing familiar to hold on to: family, home, personal belongings, loved ones, language, name. Gradually, they lose their mental resilience and sense of freedom.  They feel alien-unable to communicate, to relate, attach, or empathize with others...Torture is about reprogramming the victim to succumb to alternative exegesis of the world, proffered by the abuser. It is an act of deep ,indelible, traumatic indoctrination"
...Cognizance of the aforementioned facts does not take much imagination to realize the effects of being isolated 21 hours each day.  No one to talk to except ones self and then to have that mono dialogue noted as a re-emergence of psychosis.  Then to comment that there are cameras watching one interpreted as further evidence of a psychotic episode, when in fact there are CAMERAS - watching every move- except of course when as a inpatient you are the one being assaulted.  How convenient that must be and then to find oneself labelled violent and treatment resistant.  Surely, if you find yourself labeled treatment resistance the question should be..."Why then are you treating me?".

After 23 months of ineffective treatment followed by a reduction of a mere 25mg from a 400mg intra-muscular injection allowed Garth to slowly emerge from his drugged state.  But, after 23 months it has been decided that Garth could be better treated in a Forensic facility.  What better way than to create a situation which would evoke a response sufficiently to be labelled "violent" and "aggressive"... create an illusion that Garth Daniels is the most violent patient.  No one has examined the iatrogenic effect of the over-prescription and replication of past pharmaceuticals.  However, the effects were sufficient to keep Garth in a perpetual state of deliria... to the extent Garth was labelled incapable of standing in trial.  Garth now finds himself a Forensic patient to be removed under the orders of the Chief psychiatrist of Queensland Dr.John Reilly,  to The Parks -Wacol.

At 8:45am Wednesday 9 May 2018 Garth was escorted from the caged environment at The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH) and disappeared before his parents who arrived minutes earlier did not even see Garth enter the police van.  The TPCH staff present would not permit the parents to see Garth as he had already entered the van.  Makes one wonder was Garth handcuffed?  The parents state that there were at least five policeman present and four hospital security personnel- all very polite and pleasant.  At this time of writing the family have not been able to contact Garth who is now in a High Security Inpatient Service (HSIS).. .Wacol located west of Brisbane which now serves as a prison and Secure Mental Health Research Unit (SMHRU).

So, after almost two years isolated at TPCH Garth's parents have been told that it is for Garth well-being to be in a less "a less restrictive" (sic)environment.  Deja Vu Thomas Embling...
"Join the movement that's powering medical discoveries right here..." albeit perhaps without informed consent ?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Garth Daniels - Dejavu. Planet of the Apes 2017

"My life is my experience". Mahatma Gandhi

The rehabilitation enclosure at The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH) Chermside Queensland the stroke of a psychiatrist pen Garth Daniels was transferred from the Royal Brisbane & Womans Hospital (RBWH) for further rehabilitation.   Rehabilitation ?  To be subjected to further doses of clozapine which after four re-challenges "they"were forced to cease due to serious cardiac complications.  Complications which Garth Daniels and his allied person had apparently forewarned his" treating team". 

What followed was the continuation of polypharmacy and regurgitation of failed treatments which "they" term treatment resistant. What a pity, "they" declared, he was doing so good on clozapine!
They would have solved his "schizophrenia" but not bothered that he would in all likelihood have died of serious cardiac complications.  Wonder whether "they" would have declared job well done?   

Dr. Andrea Walker who was responsible for the administering of polypharmacy and clozapine  has since retired as the consultant psychiatrist at this rehabilitation unit.  But, as a result of those treatments initiated by Dr. Ravinder Sohal et al under the jurisdiction of the authorized psychiatrist Dr. John Allan at the RBWH and continued under the authority of A/Professor Gail Robertson at TPCH has resulted in Garth Daniels having to endure the vagaries of the iatrogenic effect of multiple drug prescriptions. 

A new consultant has been assigned to treat Garth Daniels... and after a series of regurgitation of failed treatments appears to have realized that there is no merit in polypharmacy.  There has been active engagement with the family which appears to have initiated a reduction in prescription  drugs with a concomitant recovery of Garth to clear consciousness.

Akathisia, defined as a medication induced effect in the DSM appears to have been lessened and is commensurate with a reduction in polypharmacy prescriptions resulting in an absence of  aggression and alleged violence...  Outbursts of anxious terror and fear of becoming toxic culminated in accusations of  violent behaviour  which now leaves Garth Daniels to face charges of indictable offences.

Who is the real victim?


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Garth Daniels - Emperical or Experimental - A Clozapine Saga

.Clozapine was banned in Finland in 1975.

"In Australia "Patient centred Care" is supported by the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights, the National Safety and Qualification Framework and a range of jurisdictional edicts.  In their own words it is  to be 'respectful of the preferences needs and values of patients'.  There is a clear and evident contravention of such a charter here as it relates to Garth Daniels. Garth's needs etc...were clearly and indisputably relegated to a charter of carelessness a mandate contravening both medicine and jurisprudence."

Flight from the State of Victoria, Australia:

Garth Daniels following his escape from the shocking regime of A/Prof.Paul Katz and his entourage of Dr.Jose Segal et al at Eastern Health and subsequently Dr. Anthony Cidoni of Monash Health; where in the Supreme Court at Melbourne Victoria the barristers for both health service providers informed the judge that Monash Health to which Garth had been transferred was now responsible for the treatment of Garth. 

Ironically, the psychiatrist Cidoni stated in open correspondence to Daniels senior that Monash Health(Dandenong Southern Health), merely provides the bed for Eastern Health patient Garth Daniels, but that the treatment regime is under the authority of Eastern Health.  Interestingly, in the Supreme Court Daniels senior advised the court that it appeared the lawyers were making medical decisions and the psychiatrists debating the legal issues.

However, Judge Keogh assured Mr. Daniels senior that the legal situation was as the barristers for both parties had indicated... Garth Daniels was now a patient of Dandenong ( Southern Health) Monash Health.  Mr. Glenn Floyd and Mr. Bernard Daniels appeared as Amicus Curiae with the permission of Judge Keogh as Garth Daniels was debarred by Dr.Anthony Cidoni from attending the court despite Garth having the previous day gone AWOL during an extended lunch break to lodge his affidavit with the Prothonatory in the Supreme Court.

The only certainty for Garth Daniels was that he was going to be given ElectroShocks until he agreed to taking clozapine.  It appeared likely that  psychiatrists Cidoni was going to proceed with its administration despite Garth and his medical power of attorney refusing consent.

Into the State of Queensland, Australia:

The euphoria for Garth was overwhelming knowing that he had been extricated from a system of abuse and torture.  Arriving in Queensland on 19 May 2016 an appointment was arranged by Garths POA to engage with a psychiatrist.  For a number of months it seemed that Garth had left the trauma behind and was well on the way to full recovery under treatment by the private psychiatrist.  Then in mid-August the trauma of what Garth had experienced saw him pre-occupied and his voluntarily admission to RBWH on the advice of his psychiatrist with a view to a period of rehabilitation and  towards self-management and possibly independent living.   There were a few hiccups along this path culminating in Garth voluntarily admitting to the Royal Brisbane and Womans Hospital about September 2016..... 

 The psychiatrists treating Garth Daniels in Queensland it appears regard sinus tachycardia as benign, myocarditis as extremely rare, elevated CK levels as irrelevant and of course pre-existing heart damage having no prognostic significance for cardiomyopathy

This MUST be the case as Garth has succumbed to all of the above... yet the treating psychiatrist continue to prescribe the drug which the cardiologist confirm may only be attributed to the prescribed drug... clozapine.  This conclusion is based upon the premise that since clozapine has been withheld from Garth Daniels the cardiac complications appear to have resolved.

In 2002 the Coronary Care Unit at Prince Charles Hospital, Chermside Queensland produced the following paper" Tachycardia's toll: tachycardia induced cardiomyopathy --  a case study.  In the abstract it is noted that Quote:"...sinus tachycardia is a  more unusual arrhythmia which can lead to serious heart damage or death." Unquote.

In 2010 the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Missouri School of Medicine Columbia Abstract indicates ... "tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathy is caused by sustained rapid ventricular rates and is one of the well-known forms of reversible myocardial dysfunction".  It goes on to report that the diagnosis is usually made retrospectively after marked improvement in systolic function is noted following control of the heart rate. 

However, a New Zealand case series of clozapine associated myocarditis states that "Clozapine-associated myocarditis  most often occurs within 1-2 months of starting clozapine, but it may develop at any time while on the medicine, and can occur even at very low doses".

Garth Daniels was first administered clozapine under duress and had clozapine sprayed into his mouth via a syringe.  Garth's retaliation to this forced and coercive assault without consent resulted in Garth being charged under summons for assault against members of staff being security and nursing.  staff.  Since that initial dose of clozapine aka clopine in September 2016 Garth was kept in the high dependency ward at the Royal Brisbane and Womans Hospital (RBWH) until his transfer to the Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH) SMHRU (Secure Mental Health Rehabilitation Unit(sic) in November 2016..

Garth Daniels treatment was transferred from that of Dr. Ravinder Sohal, consultant psychiatrist and  registrar Dr. Chris May of RBWH to that of Dr. Andrea Walker, consultant psychiatrists at the SMHRU. What followed was a series of complex cardiac complications and confirmation that clozapine was more than likely the causative agent.  This was confirmed by the chief cardiologist at TPCH.

Dr. Andrea Walker has since left SMHRU and her position replaced by another psychiatrist Dr. Natasha Laukens.  In the meantime Garth's freedom has been denied on the basis he has deteriorated... on the prescription of polypharmacy and clozapine which has now culminated in Garth's further detention incarcerated contrary to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  

Clozapine aka clopine has been ceased due to cardiac complications culminating in the resurgence of failed treatments, including polypharmacy.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Garth Daniels - 2016 the After Shock.

"End the forced Electro-shock of Garth Daniels"

"In Garth's case the medical response has been a demonstration of the demonization of mental health with the convenience of the combination of criminality, allowing an implantation of the ILLEGALITY of incarceration and an effectively suborned institutionalization in the place of properly structured and informed health parameters in what ought to be medically driven intelligence and scientifically validated evidence based practices of health and social historical initiatives".

This statement is in the context of the awareness that the penal system - by which Garth Daniels has been impugned - is the relic of slavery and the whole auxiliary health and education systems are aligned to this political agenda. Full stop!

On 23 May 2016 at 11:51 COPY EMAIL from a viral transmission...Quote:-
"Dear all,
You may be already aware that Garth Daniels was not returned from family leave last Thursday night.  We are extremely concerned at the risk of deterioration in mental state and potential for serious violence.  Any assistance you can provide in locating him and safely returning him to our care would be greatly appreciated.
Anthony Cidoni

Dr. Anthony Cidoni
Unit Head
Dandenong Adult Mental Health
ICARE: Integrity: Compassion: Accountability: Respect : Excellence:"

Six months earlier 22 December 2015 Garth Daniels was reviewed while in four point restraint at Upton House Psychiatric Department of Box Hill Hospital by medical doctors from the main wing of the hospital. They informed Garth he was to be transferred that morning to the Emergency Department.    

"What's this Dad? Wasn't there before other ECTs"

Unexplained bruise on forearm.
Any idea?

By 3:00pm Garth was transferred from the Emergency Department to ward located on level 6.1 of the main hospital.  Garth recalls that he had had an MRI full body scan and that he had been informed "they" suspected an appendix or  UTI or some infection and that he had a very rapid heart rate  

Garth Daniels
Medical Ward 6.1 Level 
Box Hill Hospital
Note no security no coercive treatment no Velcro straps no restraint.

What was the  real reason for the transfer ?  Is it the result perhaps of an uncontrolled seizure during the administration of ElectroShock ?  Did they deliberately withhold a muscle relaxant to establish effect?  What of the unexplained bruise on Garths forearm ?   

Perhaps too many questions were being asked by the family of the psychiatrists'?  The media too had started to take an interest including ABC TV Australia.  Garth's case was highlighted at an International Conference of the Council for Evidence based Psychiatry (CEP-U.K.) held at the University of Roehampton in London on 18 September 2015.  Professor Peter Gotzsche Director of the Cochrane Collaboration in Copenhagen highlighted the case of Garth Daniels at the conference. 

Protests against the treatment of Garth Daniels were held simultaneously in Melbourne and London in front of Australia House.  An independent Senator raised the plight of Garth Daniels in question time in the State Parliament of Victoria.  Social media had sprung into action.

Asylum the magazine for democratic psychiatry
Asylum Collective
Change.Org labelled the awareness campaign as The Killing of Garth Daniels, Facebook campaign with a Free Garth heading appeared with  individual postings.  It appeared the Grass Roots had finally began to awaken in a show of solidarity.  It appeared the psychiatrists in charge of Garths treatment were intent on continuing to electroshock Garth until he consented to  clozapine  treatment.  Mad In America website started receiving and publishing the submissions by foreign correspondents on the plight of Garth Daniels. Another Australian traversed the Nullaboor from Freemantle to Melbourne to attend Court hearings in support of Garth Daniels. In fact this particular Australian made her mission absolutely clear.


"Speak Out Against Psychiatry"
Australia House London
Protest Against Psychiatry
Australia House London U.K.

Melbourne Protest
State Library of Victoria

ECT they stated was the ONLY viable option as the family and Garth had refused to allow the prescription of clozapine to be administered. A last resort to treatment resistant schizophrenia they stated.  What was not stated is that Garth Daniels was not treatment resistant BUT, resistant to the treatment which was infact causing the psychosis and that Garth Daniels was suffering from the iatrogenic effect of these toxin chemical compositions

Garth (pink shirt), brother  and Friends at Upton House
Mental Health Tribunal 2016
Permission granted to administer a further series of twelve more Electroshocks
Daniels senior had sought to stop this continuous assault on their son by seeking injunctions in the Magistrates Court some months earlier, only to be told that he was in the wrong jurisdiction and find $12,000-00.  Daniels senior having self represented appealed to the Supreme Court where before Judge Ginnane the case was effectively argued to the extent the barrister for Eastern Health agreed by consent to cease seeking costs.  Judge Ginnane dismissed the fine and the case adjourned by consent. 
During this period the Electroshocks continued and it was at this time the ABC TV aired its program.

This provided the opportunity to concentrate upon the immediate and continuing ElectroShock upon Garth.  Who at this stage had assigned a lawyer to his case.  An application was made to stop the ElectroShock and make application for  Habeas Corpus.  The case occupied three days in the Supreme Court of Victoria at Melbourne Australia before Justice MacDonald.  Garth who is alleged by his treating psychiatrists as  being the most violent patient sat quietly unrestrained in the Supreme Court for three days.  Garth even ventured outside the Court during recess without restraints... and unaccompanied by hospital security staff. 

Garth Daniels and Friends
Supreme Court Victoria at Melbourne Australia

Garth and Friends
Supreme Court of Victoria at Melbourne
Habeas Corpus
Excerpts of the transcript and Garth Daniels address to the Court see References.

Garth Daniels had lodged charges against two psychiatrists and Eastern Health of assault and had summons issued against the psychiatrists and the Eastern Health corporation filed in the County Court.  In the interim Daniels senior had been summons to appear in Court by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in the knowledge that Eastern Health A/Prof. Paul Katz and the Office of the Public Advocate sought to remove Daniels senior Medical Power of Attorney and Guardianship.

Two weeks earlier Daniels senior had lodged a Statutory Declaration of Liability with all the known psychiatrists who had participated or been involved in the Electroshock of Garth Daniels at Upton House, Box Hill Hospital.  It would appear that as a result of the lodgment of that document left for the attention of those psychiatrists there was a sudden transfer of Garth Daniels to Dandenong Hospital Monash Health.

A day before the VCAT Hearing a Mental Health Tribunal Hearing was called for by Dr. Anthony Cidoni.  The result of course was not unexpected.  The Tribunal acceded to the request and authorized a further twelve shocks to be administered to Garth Daniels.

Appearing at VCAT and confronted with deliberations that lasted from approximately 10:00am to roughly 3:00pm... the Victorian Administrative and Civil Tribunal by consent with Dr.Cidoni, the Office of the Public Advocate and Daniels senior agreed that neither Monash Health, Eastern Health's A/Professor Paul Katz had any further interest in removing Daniels senior powers of attorneys or Guardianship.    Daniels senior had successfully demonstrated that his primary and only interest was and is the wellbeing of their son Garth Daniels.

The pervious week Garth Daniels had for a brief period gone AWOL by extending his lunch break off-campus by a few hours.  What Garth Daniels had done was to consult with the Prothonatory at the Supreme Court of Victoria at Melbourne and lodge an application against his incarceration and also provide the documentary evidence that the hospitals were acting in contravention of the Covenant of Civil and Politics Rights as  endorsed by the Australian Government. A hearing was scheduled for the next day in the Supreme Court before Justice Keogh.  The staff at Dandenong Hospital were notified but the next morning refused Garth his right to attend his own court hearing.  VCAT Hearing was held a week later.. a day after the MHT hearing.

Dr. Anthony Cidoni comments of course cannot be commented upon other than it had appeared Dr. Anthony Cidoni was rather smug on leaving the VCAT in all probability assuming that Garth Daniels was quietly awaiting his return to be shocked yet again.

That evening 19 May 2016 during the late hours of the night Police arrived at the Daniels senior  residence banging on the front door which was opened by Daniels senior. It was definitely the Police who demanded to know as quoted by Daniels senior " What's going on here and where is your son Garth?" unquote.  They proceeded to search the house...

See also: Deadlypsychiatry.Org


in progress...


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Garth Daniels - and -UN Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities

Third - party intervention in Communication No. 36/2016 under CRPD
Optional Protocol (Daniels v Australia)

Tina Minkowitz, Esq.
On behalf of:
Center for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry
44 Palmer Pond Rd.
Chestertown, NY 12817 USA
Tina Minkowitz

1. Information about third party intervener
2. Exhaustion of remedies
3. Applicable standards
a. Deprivation of liberty
b. Forced treatment amounts to torture/other ill-treatment
4. Remedies for violations
Annex I, approval of third party intervention by named party
Annex II, approval of third party intervention by author of complaint

1. Information about third-party intervener

The Center for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (CHRUSP)
is a human rights organization run by and for persons with psychosocial
disabilities/users and survivors of psychiatry. CHRUSP provides strategic
leadership in working for legal capacity for all, an end to forced interventions
and deprivation of liberty in the context of mental health services, and the
availability of support that respects the person’s autonomy, will and preferences.
For more information, please see

Tina Minkowitz, CHRUSP president and author of the third party intervention, is
a lawyer and survivor of psychiatry who worked on the drafting and negotiation
of the CRPD on behalf of the World Network of Users and Survivors of
Psychiatry, and coordinated the work of civil society in the drafting and
negotiations of Articles 12, 14, and 15, among others. She has contributed to the
work of the CRPD Committee and to other human rights mechanisms including
the Special Rapporteur on Torture, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention,
the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Special
Rapporteur on the Right to Health, the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against
Women, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Organization
of American States, and UNESCAP.

2. Exhaustion of remedies

In addressing exhaustion of domestic remedies in relation to involuntary
commitment and forced or coerced treatment in mental health services, we urge
the Committee to take account of:

1) the unequivocal prohibition of these practices under Articles 12, 14, and
15, and their seriousness as violations against personal security and integrity;

2) the conflict between states’ obligations under CRPD to abolish and
prohibit these practices,and provisions in domestic legislation that directly authorize and regulate them. These provisions manifest a discriminatory intent and policy to target persons with psychosocial disabilities for acts of arbitrary detention, torture and other ill treatment;

3) the harm caused by the existence of these provisions, and by the failure to unequivocally abolish and prohibit the practices of commitment and forced/coerced treatment, which creates a state of permanent insecurity for persons with psychosocial disabilities, and marks such individuals for social degradation and discrimination in all aspects of life;

4) the potential existence of circumstances that pose obstacles to individuals vigorously pursuing remedies to enforce their rights under domestic legislation regulating mental health commitment and forced treatment,such as the strong incentive to cooperate with unwanted treatment in the hope of minimizing the extent of forced intervention, the risk of retaliation, and the individual’s diminished cognitive abilities and isolation from potential support and other resources as a result of being subjected to a regime of commitment and forced treatment;

5) the inability of domestic proceedings that determine on a case-by-case basis the lawfulness of mental health detention and forced treatment within the framework of regulatory legislation to serve as an effective remedy in the long run since these proceedings leave the individual at
risk of repeated violations and marked for social degradation;

6) the high barriers to accessing the potential remedy of judicial nullification of legislation authorizing commitment and forced treatment through domestic courts. While theoretically available, such remedies do not offer a reasonable likelihood of success to the individual who remains in a state of extreme vulnerability and is being actively subjected to harm.
(1)See as analogous situations in other areas of law, Dudgeon v UK, ECtHR No.7525/76, Judgment (1981), paras 14, 29-31, 34-35, 40-41, 63; and Brown v Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) (U.S. Supreme Court) (holding that segregation by race even if “tangible” factors were equal violates individual rights, reasoning that “to separate them from others of similar age and
qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to
their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone.”)

2 See further below sections 3a and 4.

3 CEDAW has addressed comparable situations in which victims were placed in
situations of extreme vulnerability by the state’s acts or omissions in LC v Peru,
CEDAW/C/50/D/22/2009, paras 8.1-8.5 (withholding of abortion from woman
for whom it was medically necessary and who was suffering serious distress
from the pregnancy that drove her to attempt suicide), and Goekce v Austria,
CEDAW/C/39/D/5/2005 paras 7.1-7.6 (failure of police to respond adequately
to domestic violence)


3.Applicable standards

We urge the Committee to consistently apply the standard established under CRPD
Articles 12, 14 and 15,as explained by the Committee’s jurisprudence to find that
each instance of deprivation of liberty in any mental health facility(4) and each instance of forced treatment(5)in mental health services violates the rights of the individual concerned,
irrespective of any case specific circumstances.

a.Deprivation of liberty

Deprivation of liberty in a mental health facility is both arbitrary,as it is a regime
of detention applied only against individuals who are alleged to have a mental health condition, and unlawful, as it is contrary to international law obligations in force for the state, whether or not it meets the standards established by domestic law(6).

The Committee should examine the domestic regulatory framework in order to ascertain whether and in what ways that framework permits involuntary commitment and/or involuntary treatment in mental health services, and if so must find that its application to any individual violates the
Convention. The existence and outcome of proceedings under a domestic regulatory framework to challenge the lawfulness of mental health commitment or forced treatment is of no consequence to finding a violation of Article 14. It should be noted that access to justice, as protected by Article 13, with respect to human rights guaranteed by the CRPD, cannot be satisfied by domestic
procedures that subject the individual to demeaning standards and inquiries contrary to the CRPD(7).

The victims' vulnerable circumstances and the serious and irreparable nature of the harm facing them were factors in the Committee’s
finding that exhaustion of lengthy procedures unlikely to offer effective relief was not required.
(4) I use the term “mental health facility” to include any place under the control of
mental health service personnel where a person is deprived of liberty, including
mental health clinics, psychiatric wards in general hospitals, stand alone psychiatric institutions, mental health units in jails and prisons, and any similar place.

(5) I use the term “forced treatment” as equivalent and shorthand for treatment
that is enforced against the person’s will and/or is administered without the free
and informed consent of the person concerned. Consent obtained under threat
of force, in coercive circumstances, or based on deception, must be considered

(6) CRPD Guidelines on Article 14 paras 6-8, 10, 13-15; see also Working Group on
Arbitrary Detention Basic Principles and Guidelines on Remedies and Procedures on the Right of Anyone Deprived of Their Liberty to Bring Proceedings Before a Court (WGAD Guidelines), A/HRC/30/37, paras 10(e) (on arbitrary detention as encompassing discrimination based on disability) and 12 (on unlawful detention as encompassing violations of international law).

(7) To illustrate, a mental health review proceeding that requires the individual to
debate his or her mental health condition, predictions of harm to self and others,
the advisability of mental health treatment, etc., is demeaning and s demeaning and


If domestic commitment and forced treatment laws were not applied to the
complainant, the Committee should consider whether factual circumstances
existed from which the individual would reasonably consider him or herself to
be deprived of liberty and/or under compulsion to undergo unwanted treatment.

As the Committee has pointed out, the prediction that a person will endanger self
or others cannot legitimize discriminatory detention.(8)Non-discrimination in law enforcement and criminal proceedings is complementary to the prohibition of impairment- based detention, and provides balance as a second pillar of Article 14. Endangerment of self similarly cannot justify measures that discriminate in law or in fact; legal capacity includes the right to take risks on an equal basis with others.

Article 14 makes no exceptions for duration of the detention. (9)Since the regime of involuntary commitment to mental health facilities is linked to the aim of providing care and treatment, it is an impermissible violation of the right to legal capacity under Article 12, which includes the right to make decisions about whether, where, how, and under what circumstances to receive health care and services, including mental health services. Detaining a person for any period of
time in the context of health care and services, whether for observation, care or treatment, violates the autonomy rights guaranteed by Article 12 and the integrity rights guaranteed by Articles 15, 16, and 17. As there is no legitimate basis for forced treatment under the CRPD, there is no legitimate reason to detain an individual for any evaluative process that would form the basis for continued detention or forced treatment.

Similarly, Article 14 requires that a person have the legal right to refuse to enter a mental health facility and to leave at will, and that exercise of this right not be impeded or interfered with in any way. Providing services in a locked ward is inconsistent with the right to liberty and the right to exercise free and informed consent. It is similarly inconsistent with these rights to threaten or carry out any legal process to detain an individual who wishes to leave, even in an open ward. Both the right and the opportunity to exercise it must be guaranteed and readily enforceable.

b.Forced treatment amounts to torture/other ill-treatment

Acts of forced treatment violate the right to legal capacity in Article 12, the right
to security of the person in Article 14,the prohibition of torture and other ill-
treatment in Article 15 , as well as the right to be free from all forms of violence,
exploitation and abuse in Article 16 and the right to respect for physical and mental integrity in Article 17(10)

discriminatory, and is entirely unnecessary and counterproductive to fulfill the unequivocal right under Article 14 to not be deprived of liberty or forcibly treated in mental health services.
(8) Guidelines on Article 14, paras 13-15.
(9) Ibid, see also para 22.


The Committee should first examine the domestic legal framework as indicated in the first paragraph of section 3a above, and find a violation if the individual concerned has been subjected to forced treatment under those laws,or if circumstances existed from which she or he
would reasonably consider her or himself under compulsion to undergo unwanted treatment.(11). The Committee should further address the harm caused by forced treatment so as to provide guidance to the state party regarding the nature of its obligations under Article 15 to eliminate and effectively prevent this practice.(12).

As the Committee has explained numerous times, consent must be by the person
concerned and cannot be substituted.(13). Persons with actual or perceived mental
health conditions retain at all times, including in crisis situations,the right to
exercise free and informed consent in their own behalf and to refuse any
unwanted services or mental health interventions.(14).

Consent must be both free and informed. Coercive circumstances in mental
health services and facilities, especially when the person is involuntarily
committed or threatened with involuntary commitment or with the use of
physical force, often pressure individuals into giving nominal consent to the
administration of psychiatric drugs or electroshock when they do not wish to
receive it. Such consent cannot be said to be free. Consent should also be
scrutinized for whether it is adequately informed about all known risks and
adverse effects, the actual likelihood of any benefit, and the existence of
alternatives, including the alternative of going through an experience of distress
on one’s own or with willing supporters.

The harm done by forced psychiatric interventions can be understood in relation to
three kinds of discrimination that make this practice a disability-specific form of
violence enacted against persons with psychosocial disabilities:

•Deliberate use of methods of punishment, intimidation, and coercion that are recognized
as torture when done to non-disabled persons,(15)such as neuroleptic drugs and

(10) GC1 para 42; Guidelines on Article 14, paras 11-12.
(11) Deprivation of liberty in a mental health facility is one such coercive
circumstance that creates an incentive to comply with treatment in an attempt to
minimize the extent of forced interventions by appearing to cooperate.
(12) Guidelines on Article 14 para 12.
(13) GC1 paras 40-41.
(14) GC1 paras 15, 18, and 42; Guidelines on Article 14 para 22.
(15) See Convention against Torture Article 1, and Special Rapporteur on Torture,
E/CN.4/1986/15 para 119, and A/63/175 paras 37-41, 45, 62-63.
(16) Evidence of the use of drugs and electroshock for purposes of punishment,
intimidation, and coercion may be found in statements contained in official
records, but can also be inferred from circumstances. Use of drugs as chemical
restraint and use of electroshock with the aim of controlling behavior are
examples of this.


.Deliberate administration of these same methods as a purported
therapeutic treatment without securing the free and informed consent of
the person concerned, manifesting callous disregard for the personal
autonomy and integrity of persons with psychosocial disabilities;(17).

•Failure to appreciate and respect the right of persons with psychosocial
disabilities to be different than others and to enjoy and defend their
personalities and minds as part of human diversity and humanity.(18)

Forced treatment always violates a person’s physical and mental integrity, which
includes bodily autonomy and the right to exclude unwanted touch and
unwanted substances from one’s person. Harm is caused by this violation of
personal boundaries and the experience of having unwanted bodily sensations
and alterations created by others’ interventions, an experience of intimate
subjection and control by others.

The right to preserve and defend one’s bodily autonomy is preserved by the requirement
of free and informed consent for all health care and treatment, including psychiatric interventions. Harm is also caused by the specific nature of the intervention,e.g.the
signature adverse effects of neuroleptic drugs such as akathisia, tardive dyskinesia, metabolic
disturbances,neuroleptic dysphoria,and cognitive impairment,(19) and those of
electroshock including cognitive impairment and loss of short-and long-term
memory.(20) Such harm includes both immediate suffering and damage that
persists long afterwards and may be permanent.(21) All these aspects of harm, and
collateral effects on the person’s life project, relationships, and sense of self,
should be taken into consideration when assessing the severity of the violation
and the reparations required.
(17) See CAT Article 1 and Special Rapporteur on Torture, A/63/175, paras 44, 47
-50, 57-65.
(18) See Minkowitz, The UN CRPD and the Right to be Free from Non-consensual
Psychiatric Interventions, 34 Syracuse J Intl L & Commerce 405 (2007).
(19) See G√łtzsche, Forced admission and forced treatment in psychiatry causes
more harm than good,
-forced-treatment-in-psychiatry-short-version.pdf; Whitaker, Medical Science Argues Against Forced Treatment Too,
-medical-science-argues-against-forced-treatment-too/; sources cited in Minkowitz (2007);
and CHRUSP et al., Joint Submission to Human Rights Committee for its review of the United States in October 2013 on nonconsensual psychiatric medication, part II, RshadowreportFINAL.docx.(20)
See Read and Bentall, The Effectiveness of Electroconvulsive Therapy: A
Literature Review, Epidemiologia e Psichiatria Sociale, 19, 4, 2010,

See Minkowitz, Forced interventions and forced institutionalization as torture/CIDT, Annex III to Final Report of the OHCHR expert seminar on freedom from torture and persons with disabilities,


4.Remedies for violations

We urge the Committee to recommend both systemic and individual measures to
correct the violations found under Articles 12, 14 and 15, and to consider applying
the framework of the right to a remedy and reparation for serious human rights violations,
as set out in the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations
of International Humanitarian Law.(22).

First and foremost, the state must immediately direct the cessation of violations
against that individual, including by release from the place of deprivation of
liberty, an end to forced interventions including restraints and confinement as
well as forced treatment, and notification that henceforth all desired services
will be made available based on the person’s free and informed consent, and no
detention, treatment, or other interventions will be imposed against the person’s

In order to protect the right of all individuals with psychosocial disabilities to
enjoy liberty and security of the person without any discrimination, states must
take urgent action to end the application of domestic laws that authorize and
regulate commitment and forced treatment. This should be done in the way
most calculated to achieve the immediate result of removing all legal and
physical obstacles from individuals who wish to leave mental health facilities
and/or to stop receiving any undesired treatment.(23)

All branches of the state are responsible for respecting and ensuring the rights guaranteed by Articles 12, 14, and 15, including the judicial branch; however, administrative and legislative
branches cannot wait for the judicial branch to act and must assume their own
responsibilities. In particular, they cannot rely on case-by-case determinations
of individual cases in procedures established under legislation regulating
commitment and forced treatment.

(22) A/RES/60/147 (2006). See also Special Rapporteur on Torture,
A/HRC/22/53, paras 81-84, WGAD Guidelines Annex paras 25-26 and 106(f),
CRPD Guidelines on Article 14 para 24 quoting WGAD Guidelines. For detailed
recommendations see Orefellen, Torture and other ill-treatment in psychiatry
–urgent need for effective remedies, redress and guarantees of non-repetition,
side event to CRPD Committee (30 March 2015),
(23)WGAD Guidelines para 126 (e) (old numbering), quoted in Guidelines on
Article 14 para 24, offers a partial example of systemic remedies that could be
ordered by a court having the requisite mandate to apply the CRPD and grant
systemic as well as individual relief.


These measures cannot meet states’obligations under Article 14,and perpetuate an incorrect standard of review that allows the perpetuation of commitment and forced treatment rather than
ordering cessation in all cases.(24)

Measures should be taken to comprehensively review the state’s legal
framework as it pertains to persons with psychosocial disabilities, including
legal capacity, penal law, family law, health law, mental health law, disability law,
and social services law, and undertake reforms to repeal provisions that are
in consistent with the CRPD and where applicable replace such provisions by
new material based on the standards established in General Comment No. 1 and
the Guidelines on Article 14. It should be recalled that forced treatment cannot
be legitimized under legislation in any of these fields. In particular, it is essential
to reform legal capacity and health law so that persons with disabilities are not
subjected to forced treatment by substitute decision-makers. It is also necessary
to ensure that penal law,family law and social services law do not contain
incentives for compliance with unwanted mental health treatment.
In addition,all laws that discriminate against persons based on actual or perceived mental
health condition contribute to political, social, and economic vulnerability of
persons with psychosocial disabilities and leaves them at the mercy of mental
health services as the only resource available to them to meet unrelated needs
such as housing, livelihood, and community.

Measures should be undertaken as well as to comprehensively review the state’s
policy and services framework relevant to persons with psychosocial disabilities.
Disability law, services, and policy must be equally relevant to persons with
psychosocial disabilities as to other persons with disabilities, transversely
reflecting their lived reality, promoting and protecting their rights against
violations that have uniquely or disproportionately targeted this group, and
responding to their expressed needs. Measures such as apology should be taken
only as part of a transparent and accountable process of truth and reconciliation
that acknowledges the violation of the human rights in each instance of mental
health commitment and forced treatment and is accompanied by an end to the
violations and redress for all victimized individuals.

In all matters of development, design, implementation, and review of measures
responding to violations of Articles 12, 14, and 15, persons with psychosocial
disabilities who have lived experience of the violations must be closely consulted
and given the opportunity to provide leadership, including the provision of
reasonable accommodation and support desired by the individual and respectful
of his or her autonomy, will and preferences.

5. Conclusion

We thank the Committee for considering the information presented and remain
at the Committee’s disposal to answer any questions.

see above, sections 2 and 3a.