Tuesday, December 30, 2008

GARTH DANIELS - Medico-Legal. Tip of the Ice Berg or Calm before the Storm


A quiet reserved gentle and kind Garth who admitted to a drug induced headache more than ten years ago was immediately labelled a "mentally ill patient" to which the word "violent" has been attached. Treated by more than now 220 psychiatrists in the Victoria Public Mental Health of whom few considered alternative diagnosis other than some form of schizophrenia;each of whom exercised their opinions and administered drugs they considered appropriate to treat Garth. In fact Garth Daniels has seen so many psychiatrists that the treatment regimes are being repeated. There is a colloquialism... " Only a madman will repeat the same treatment and expect a different result".

Garth Daniels had been on a Restricted Community Treatment Order (RCTO), housed in a Community Care Unit (CCU) under the jurisdiction of Eastern Health; been kept a resident in a secure ward for two years under Southern Health (Dandenong Hospital); been held in a lock-up ward in isolation for more than six months without contact with family or friends or access to legal representation under Northern Health (Austin Hospital). During this period Garth Daniels has been administered "off-label" doses of zyprexa coupled with intra-muscular injections combined with polypharmacy (a cocktail of other antidepressants and neuroleptics).

Garth Daniels today is still treated as a lab rat...this despite the fact that his father Bernard Daniels holds An Enduring Power of Attorney Medical for his son Garth...the treating psychiatrists continue to treat Garth with complete disregard of their legal obligations under the Medical Treatment Act,The Mental Health Act, The Health Services Act and The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act. It appears they would even disregard provisions under the Crimes Act...

The pharmaceutical drugs administered to Garth ranged from Apprazolam to Zyprexa causing conditions known as EPSE ( Extra-Pyramidial Side Effects). Actually, these side effects are the main effects that consumers are led to believe are mere side effects. Garth Daniels had been on "off-label" doses of drugs (RXs') more than three times the manufacturers recommended; coupled with a cocktail of neuroleptics which constituted a dangerous combination. In particular, Garth Daniels had been given so many intra-muscular injections and cross-overs from one drug to another that the polypharmacy culminated in gross abnormalities in pathology.

Zuclopenthixol a potent neuroleptic the manufacturers state in their drug monographs may mask underlaying symptomatologies and coupled with other neurolpetics may exascerbate EPSE.(Lundbeck)

Discharge From Involuntary Status

Monday 12 February 2007 after several years as an involuntary patient on treatment orders Garth Daniels was discharged into the care of his parents. In July of that year Garth became physically ill and was taken to Eastern Health, where he was originallly labelled mentally ill. Because Garth Daniels was a "known" psychiatric patient, little attention was given to his medical needs or causation other than his mental status...So, more drugs more intra-muscular injections were administered. An MRI and EEG was undertaken and found to indicate gross abnormalities. Notwithstanding these findings Garth Daniels was confined to seclusion and treated in seclusion from July to September 2007. Due to the addition of these drugs (Olanzapine, Sodium Valproate etc...) Garth again found himself in Eastern Health from which he was discharged on 22 Novemebr 2007 with advice that certain of the drugs had to be completely ceased by 31 December 2007.

2008 - Background to Admission

On 12 February 2007 Garth Daniels had been discharged into the care of his parents and had not been under any community or involuntary order. Garth Daniels had been nurtured maintaining his well being via regular medical check-ups and monitoring by professionals in the private sector, which included a dietician, endocrinologist, psychiatrists' both interstate and abroad, physicians and was scheduled for further follow-up with a neurologist and cardiologist. Garth Daniels was also being treated for conditions attributed to both his current and previous administration of neuroleptics (anti-psychotic drugs (RXs').

Garth Daniels on 6 January 2008 sought assistance with regard to a medical condition which the Manufacturers of the Rxs' advise one should seek medical help. Garth presented to the Emergency Department of Eastern Health feeling dehydrated and having respiratory difficulties. On admission Garth Daniels CK were found to be elevated to CK784. Garth Daniels exhibited NO PSYCHOSIS or dysfunctional behaviours other than significant abnormalities related to his pathology. After being kept for observation for forty eight hours Garth was advised that he could go home, but that he should go to the westward for further observation and that he could go there as a voluntary patient.

What followed was a course of action that by its very nature established a set of consequences which in the delivery of procedures resulted in the endangerment of Garth Daniels life and morbidity. Details are sub judice. Garth Daniels was transferred from Eastern Health to Bayside Health The Alfred Hospital, an acute state wide facility, under Section 39 of the Mental Health Act which stated that Quote:"you need the services of the intensive care unit, available at that service"Unquote.

Treatment at The Alfred

A paradigm shift was initiated at the Alfred where Garth made a rapid recovery that he remained on extended leave ie 24 hours daily leave from hospital. For two moinths Garth Daniels had been required to attend The Alfred twice a day, every morning at 8:00am and every evening at 8:00pm seven days a week. This is what was termed "intensive care"...not once had Garth Daniels failed to turn up to be given his medication. The assumption being that Garth was non-compliant as noted in the contempraneous notes and promulgated by the treating teams at Eastern Health. However, the arrangement was considered unsatisfactory by The Alfred psychiatrists so Garth Daniels was transferred under a Community Treatment Order (CTO) back to the jurisdiction of Eastern Health.

The requirements outlined in the Eastern Health Treatment Plan did not meet the requirements of Section 19A of the Mental Health Act and was therefore, NOT considered by the Mental Health Review Board (MHRB) at its marathon hearings on 17, 18 and 24 June 2008 which had been initiated via an Originating Motion filed in the Victoria Supreme Court before Justice Judd by Bernard Daniels;to stop the transfer to Eastern Health and to prevent Eastern Health from implementing its so called treatment plan in relation to Garth Daniels. The Eastern Health Treatment Plan is an indictment upon the characters of both Garth and his father and painted the image of Garth as an extremely violent person. Of course the question of akathisia and delerium seem to be quite foreign to psychiatrists who have been involved in Garths treatment.

The MHRB had also met in March 2008 on an appeal from Bernard Daniels lodged on behalf of Garth. The MHRB agreed with the Daniels' and refused to transfer Garth to the Austin Hospital, which had been arranged between the Chief Psychiatrist of this State of Victoria, clinicians at the Alfred, Maroondah and Bayside Healthas reported to the MHRB. Garth Daniels transfer back to Eastern Health was apporved by the MHRB at its hearings concluded on 24 June 2008...at which the treatment Plan of the Alfred was approved but NOT that of Eastern Health.

The Treatment Plan approved by the MHRB was immediately discarded by Eastern Health upon Garths transfer. This resulted in unknown interventions that saw Garth again deteriorate while under the care of Eastern Health and his transfer back to the Alfred. Garth was placed in seclusion upon readmission to Bayside Health, which resulted in the protest at Garth Daniels incarceration to which the Alfred responded by transfering Garth Daniels to the Thomas Embling Forensic Institute.

2008 - 2009

Garth was permitted leave to go home with his parents from the Thomas Embling Forensic Institute on Christmas day. Garth will also be home on New Years Day... his parents want him home for good. His parents want him right out of the Victoria Public Mental Health System and treated in the private sector. But, Eastern Health wants him back...

Medico-Legal proceedings by way of a Writ has been filed in the Courts against Eastern Health...a Directions Hearing has been scheduled for February 2009...

This is the Tip of the Ice Berg or is it the Calm before the Storm ?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

GARTH DANIELS - Potentially Lethal Injection

Garth Daniels under The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act has under Section 9, a right to life...

"...the entitlement ...not to suffer death or to be at risk of death under the Charter" [ Judge J.Byrne, Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, 21 October 2008].

Garth Daniels developed treatment emergent Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS- a rare but potentially fatal condition)on the drug Thiothexene of which Zuclopenthixol and its excipients acuphase and clopixol are the most potent of this series of drugs. Garth Daniels is allergic to both the phenothiazines and non-phenothiazines class. The clinical standard for the treatment of NMS is to immediately stop the causative agent, (in this case the drug).

NMS is potentially fatal a condition that Garth Daniels has been subjected to on several occasions. Rhabodomyolysis (a potential for kidney failure) is another condition that Garth Daniels has exhibited clinical features that includes severe hyperthermia, respiratory difficulties and other documented pathology abnormalities.

NMS and Rhabdomyolysis are both potentially fatal conditions which can go unrecognised. In fact in a monograph on NMS attached to Garth Daniels medical files obtained under F.O.I. it states that "...Unfortunately, symptoms of NMS are sometimes misinterpreted by doctors as symptoms of mental illness delaying treatment". (Eastern Health ABN 68 223 819 017)

Garth Daniels has not refused the zuclopenthixol medication but refused to consent to the intra-muscular form of the drug zuclopenthixol. Intra-muscular injections means the drug (zuclopenthixol)is by injection forced into your body and it stays in your body for nineteen days. Taking the oral form means that if you show symptoms of NMS the drug could at least be immediately stopped. The intra-muscular form of the drug can not be removed from the body and remains in the body for nineteen days.

Garth Daniels has the potential to suffer serious bodily harm and possibly death should he develop full blown NMS, as there is no way of removing the drug from the system when given by intra-muscular injection. In Garth's case there is evidence of muscle tissue damage with creatine kinase levels reaching CK4700 outside the normal range of between CK75-CK175. There is also no antidote for overdose with zuclopenthixol. Notwithstanding the former, there are also other debilitating effects such as akathisia(inability to stand still), parkinsonism (tremor) and Tardive Dyskinesia [TD[(involuntary movements of the mouth)... these tend to go largely unnoticed eventhough TD could become irreversible.

Despite Garth Daniels agreeing to subject himself to taking the oral form (ie by mouth)of this series of drugs which gave rise to NMS, Dr. Douglas Bell, Assistant Clinical Director of Thomas Embling Forensicare and Dr.Kevin Ong Consultant Psychaitrist, treating Garth Daniels has directed that Garth Daniels against his wishes and without Garths consent has directed that the injectible form of the drug Zuclopenthixol be administered to Garth. This in addition to 50mg of oral intake of the drug(Rx).

Dr. Douglas Bell and Dr. Kevin Ong are intent on giving Garth a drug that they have been informed and are now aware Garth Daniels is allergic and which had in the past and could again give rise to greater risk and culminate in further irreversible damage with the potential to be fatal. Garth has already been given a test dose of 50mg of zuclopenthixol notwithstanding the 50mg oral intake of the drug over and above the injectible form. Within the next few days Dr.Douglas Bell and Dr. Kevin Ong aim to increase the imi dose up to between 200mg-400mg.

This is equivalent to saying if Garth Daniels is allergic to penicillan lets just give him a test dose and if there is no reaction we will increase the dose until we see a reaction. ["Excuse me Dr. Bell, what happens if the reaction is death?]. By administering this drug Dr. Bell is effectively increasing the risks of Garth Daniels potentially developing NMS and serious side effects which have been demonstrated to be harmful to Garth Daniels and which may cause further irreversible tissue damage and possible sudden death syndrome.

In 2003 the former Chief Psychiatrist of the State of Victoria, Professor Amgad Tanaghow directed a service to cease giving Garth Daniels Zulcopenthixol injections. And, again in 2006 Garth Daniels was given Zuclopenthixol with debilitating effects and attempts at substituting the intra-muscular injections with the oral form could not be aministered beyond 20mg without gross abnormalities in White Cell Count (WCC). Yet Dr.Bell and Dr.Ong deliberately choose to supplement the oral form of treatment with the high risk and intrusive form of intra-muscular injectionsof zuclopenthixol.

Garth Daniels hates needles but must now endure the embarressment of having his pants pulled down to be given these injections without his informed consent. The fact that Garth has provided Dr.Ong with a letter stating that he refuses intra-muscular injections and that Dr. Ong accepted the letter appears to be of little concern to these treating psychiatrists.

Dr. Bell is effectively experimenting with Garth Daniels, despite the fact that Garth Daniels does not meet the crieteria for detention within a forensic facility such as the Thomas Embling Hospital(sic). As Garth Daniels is not there under any Crimes Act or Sentencing Act Dr.Bell one would assume, does not have carte blanche Ethics Committee approval to experiemnt on Garth. In fact Garth Daniels is in Thomas Embling because psychiatrists decided he should be there, not the Courts.

Garth Daniels is guilty of only one thing and that is he has not committed any crime and has nothing to defend himself against, other than the whim of psychiatrists who now "act" as judge and jury and commit an innocent Garth Daniels...and arbitrarily subject Garth Daniels to a POTENTIALLY LETHAL INJECTION.

Garth Daniels under The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act has under Section 9, a right to life...

"...the entitlement of his son not to suffer death or to be at risk of death under the Charter" [ Judge J.Byrne, Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, 21 October 2008].

Thursday, October 16, 2008

GARTH DANIELS - Forensicare lab rat

Garth Daniels was forcibly removed, under hails of protest of family and friends from the Alfred Hospital to a mental health prison which is by definition for the criminally insane. He is therefore currently a prisoner, like every other prisoner in the Thomas Embling Hospital except for one distinct difference. He has not been charged much less found guilty of any crime. And certainly not the crimes committed by those he is now surrounded by. Garth Daniels in not a serial killer, rapist, hasn’t killed his family, isn’t a paedophile, he is not a sadist, he is nothing that is in the Thomas Embling except that the doctors at the Alfred & Maroondah have arbitrarily sent him there. And the “system” has allowed this outrage to happen to an innocent person.

The Thomas Embling Hospital is a 100-bed secure hospital, based in Fairfield, Melbourne and is primarily for patients from the criminal justice system who are in need of psychiatric assessment and/or care and treatment. It is operated by Forensicare, the Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health. However its management is with GSL.

Who is GSL? According to their corporate profile, “GSL (Australia) Pty Ltd was established in 1994 as Group 4 Correction Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of UK - based Group 4 Securitas. In 2000, the business was renamed Group 4 Falck Global Solutions, when the parent company merged with the Falck Group. In 2004, following a further merger (this time with Securicor), Global Solutions Limited was created when the businesses in the UK, South Africa and Australia were demerged from the parent company. At this time GSL (Australia) Pty Ltd (GSL) was established as a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Solutions Limited.”

GSL is owned by the Dominic Shorthouse London based investment firm and private equity fund Englefield Capital. Shorthouse has an illustrious history in investment having come from the carnivorous US private equity giant Warburg Pincus. The other private equity partner involved in GSL was Electra Partners Europe recently renamed Cognetas. They sold their share for a substantial profit at the end of 2007 back to G4S (Group 4 Securicor).

GSL also run Port Phillip Prison, Mount Gambier Prison, South Australia Prisoner Movement and In-Court Management, Prisoner Transport Services in Victoria, Hospital, Security at Wilfred Lopes Centre for Forensic Mental Health and Electronic Monitoring Services in South Australia

Interestingly enough the profile goes on to claim that “We (GSL) are accountable for delivering the letter and the spirit of our contracts and for doing so within the requirements of all prevailing legislation. Honesty and integrity are our highest values.”

This is all well and good but Garth Daniels has no current or previous criminal charge against him, who is not a threat to society and effectively has found himself chucked into a mental health prison with truly insane criminals, I am not sure how that is either in the letter or spirit of GSL’s contract with Forensicare. Mike McCarthy, managing director of GSL in Australia does make great emphasis of human rights-

“GSL is committed to promoting best practices in human rights policies, procedures and practices. Our policies are guides by human rights and individual freedoms.”

Having allowed Garth Daniels to be forced against his will, the will of his parents who also hold not just guardianship but the power of medical attorney, against the state legislation set out in the sentencing and criminal acts of Victoria and against the recently introduce Charter of Human Rights in Victoria, then what Mike McCarthy is sprouting is absolute bullshit.

Make no mistake, without one scintilla of criminality; Garth Daniels has been forced into a mental health prison. In there, the doctors can administer any drug they deem appropriate, place him in solitary confinement and generally place him with any other prisoner they wish.

These include the possibility of sharing with Nigerian-born CENSORED who tried to wash off his victim's blood with his own urine. Maybe CENSORED-- who stabbed his mother 57 times. By definition alone Garth Daniels has been deliberately placed into a dangerous situation as he is surrounded by those labelled criminally insane. Not to mention that the doctors at the Thomas Embling have no need to follow treatment plans, management plans or whatever you would like to paint it as. They can, at their own discretion simply force Garth to have any drug they wish. If they wish to place him into a clinical trial they can do that as well. But,Garth is NOT A FORENSIC PATIENT so the carte blanche protocol of the Ethics Committee to conduct research (experimentation)does not apply.

Thomas Embling prison for the criminally insane is set on 8.4 hectares, with a wide expanse of open space. In 2004 there was a report commissioned to deal with the facility’s deadly snake problem. Thomas Embling is set in among natural parks and by all accounts in becomes a snake infested hell during Spring & Summer as Tiger snakes appear like a biblical curse from drains, potholes and every nook and cranny. Probably not as dangerous as those snakes in a white coat but certainly not exactly adding to the charm of the place. On the other hand with such heavy medication being doled out who would really give a shit about Tiger snakes. Tiger snakes possess a potent neurotoxin, coagulants, haemolysins and myotoxins and are amongst the deadliest snakes in the world. Symptoms of a bite end up with numbness and sweating, followed by a rapid onset of breathing difficulties and paralysis. On the other hand we are talking about the overmedicated inmates of Thomas Embling, so how could you tell what was snake bite and what was treatment?

In 2006 a nearly 600 page Senate report into mental health facilities, particularly those associated with the penal system came under scrutiny. It was said in this unflattering report,

Involuntary treatment and seclusion-

13.105 Involuntary treatment of prisoners raises human rights concerns: Thomas Embling Hospital (TEH) also provides involuntary treatment of prisoners with mental illness, as under mental health legislation Victorian prisons are not able to undertake such treatment. Victoria is of the view that involuntary treatment in risons without clear separation of custodial and treatment requirements is contrary to the principles contained in the Mental Health Act and in breach of international human rights obligations. The report goes on to say

13.106 Professor Puplick told the committee that the incarceration of forensic patients in New South Wales is in ’clear breach of domestic legislation, the National Medical Health Forensic Policy and the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights’

13.107 Professor Mullen, Clinical Director of Forensicare, stated that in the past, when it was possible to treat mentally ill prisoners compulsorily in gaol, medications had been used, not for treatment but for control and punishment. He stated that although there are many short-term solutions which may appeal, he hoped that the compulsory treatment of patients within prison would be resisted.

Yet here we have Garth Daniels languishing not just in a prison hospital but over the past years, at the whim and mercy (mercy is probably not the correct word here as collectively the doctors at Eastern and Northern health have shown very little towards Garth and his family) of being thrown into seclusion time and again. Now he is a prisoner without trial, charge or indeed any crime. And according to this 2006 Senate committee headed up by Senator Lyn Allison – is running contrary to human rights. What is more, this committee states clearly that incarceration makes the mental health of those forced into seclusion worse, not better. It is in every way a punishment not a treatment. And without a crime being committed and without a threat to society, one has to ask who is responsible for inflicting this punishment upon Garth Daniels?

The report states

13.38 One possible reason for the high levels of mental disorders among prisoners is the effect that incarceration, or the threat of incarceration, may have on them.

13.39 The committee took anecdotal evidence that institutionalisation itself and the control mechanisms within prisons adversely affect inmates' mental health. Particular mention was made of segregation units and safe cells.[Justice Action, claimed that it had evidence of prison-induced insanity.

13.40 The deleterious effect of incarceration was remarked upon by Butler and Allnutt in their study of mental illness among NSW prisoners: Incarceration results in the loss of many person freedoms taken for granted in the community, including social supports, inter-personal relationships, employment, social status, and social role. These losses are commonly correlated with depressive disorder. At the time of reception almost one-quarter were diagnosed with mood disorder.]

13.41 The committee has also noted a comment made in a submission from Professor Gavin Andrews, Scientia Professor of Psychiatry, UNSW at St Vincent's Hospital, which suggested that incarceration may be a factor in the incidence of some mental illnesses among prisoners. He submitted that: Anxiety and depression are three times more common among inmates than in the matched general population.

13.110 The process of isolating such persons and placing them in seclusion appears effectively to prevent suicide and may prevent disruption to other inmates, but is hardly therapeutic for people who are mentally ill. A former visiting general practitioner to the BWCC, Dr Schrader, made the following observations about the use of the isolation cells

The treatment is the opposite of therapeutic. The use of seclusion is inappropriate for those of risk of self-harm and suicide. Observation alone does little to help overcome distress and suicidal or self-harming feelings and is alienating in itself ... A key element in suicide prevention is the presence of human interaction.

13.111 The committee heard similar evidence about the use of seclusion facilities for prisoners assessed to be 'at risk' in other jurisdictions. Mr Strutt, a member of Justice Action, a prisoners' activism organisation, referring to the use of isolation cells in NSW, stated that:

If you are a prison officer and you see a prisoner who seems to be seriously depressed ... your No. 1 priority is to make sure that that person does not kill themselves while you are on duty. So basically you put them in a strip cell. For all the talk about care and attention they are getting in prisons and hospitals, the way those institutions are structured means they are not getting the appropriate care and attention.

Let me state this clearly. Garth Daniels is not being given the appropriate treatment of the mentally ill. He at every facility comes across indifference and entrenched institutional beliefs that to incarcerate him is to somehow believe he will be less trouble. From isolation wards at Maroondah, Alfred, Austin, Box Hill hospitals finally the doctors of these hospitals send Garth to the only place left – Thomas Embling Prison Hospital. What an absolute disgrace and blight upon the medical practices of this state and in particular the doctors who shame every Victorian into sharing collective responsibility to see an innocent man literally buried in the “system.”

Forensicare is headed by Clinical Director, Professor Paul Mullen and Professor James Ogloff as inaugural Director of Psychological Services, Forensicare and Foundation Professor of Clinical Forensic Psychology, Monash University. Professor Ogloff is one of the most prominent forensic psychologists in North America. Make no mistake the Thomas Embling Hospital is a research facility and they research on criminals who have no rights. Garth Daniels has already complained, to no avail to his father that the medications they are giving him are way too high. Yet his father who has the power of medical attorney over his son can do nothing to stop them from inflicting greater and greater quantities of drugs. Neither Garth nor his farther have rights in this matter. Because “Forensicare has developed a reputation for being a centre for research excellence.” Isn’t that spooky? It certainly does not bode well for Garth Daniels and his family.

In May 2006, only two months after the Senate Committee’s release of their damning assessment of how prisoners were being treated in Australia’s prisons and how prisoners became more unstable and more mentally ill by constant incarceration, came Rob Hull, Victoria’s Attorney General, that Victoria was to have a charter of human rights. In his press release Rob Hulls clearly trumpeted that,

“A charter of human rights will strengthen and support Victoria’s democratic system.” Garth Daniels, at present surrounded by criminal lunatics would beg to differ. He would also be questioning the veracity of this statement by Rob Hulls,
“Some important rights, such as freedom of speech and religion and freedom from forced work and degrading treatment, have no clear legal protection, “By enshrining our human rights in legislation, we can ensure that future governments continue to value the rights of all Victorians.” Mr Hulls said.

As Rob Hulls is more elusive than a tiger snake at the Thomas Embling, he is impossible to make comment with or to be involved in this case despite repeated requests from Garth Daniels’ parents. In almost every instance his Human Rights Charter has been cited yet one of its authors is nowhere to be seen. The Thomas Embling hospital since coming in to being 2000 has specialised in the following research-

• the link between criminal offending and mental illness
• risk assessment and predictions of violence/dangerousness
• stalkers and victims of stalking
• research into sexual offending
• study of persistent complainants
• psychopathology amongst female prisoners
• dual diagnosis and criminality
• epidemiology and phenomenology of uttering threats to harm others
• patterns of inpatient aggression
• a national mental illness prevalence study in the criminal justice systems of Australia for the Commonwealth Government of Health and Aging.

You read that and have to wonder who is kidding who and why exactly Garth Daniels has been sent to such a place. What a hideous nightmare Garth Daniels really has lived over most of his adult life. He has had the blunt end of doctor’s arrogance plunge him into such dark places. And every time you have to wonder to what end these decisions to imprison him have come about to the point we are at today.

Surrounded by the criminally insane, in a snake infested prison facility that is designed to have carte blanche access to mentally disturbed lab rats where doctors can “research” without fear of prosecution, malpractice or legal repercussions. A facility run by the largest multinational operators of private prisons in the world in conjunction with off shore investment bankers and equity funds. A place that where everybody is trumpeting human rights from the Victorian government, GSL and Forensicare and savagely trampling Garth’s on a daily basis.

If you read this and feel you can bring this to a broader audience – please help.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

GARTH DANIELS - needs your help

Garth is a victim of gross human rights abuses. He had been locked in seclusion at the Alfred Hospital.

In response to a rally outside the Alfred Hospital protesting his incarceration, the hospital responded by transfering Garth to a forensic facility, effectively a prison hospital(Thomas Embling Hospital - "Google" it)

Visitors to this facility are required to have their eyes scanned via a high tech device before being admitted via high security entrance. You then proceed through an x-ray scanner before exiting via another high security door. From there you are escorted across an open compound to a forensic resident section, where Garth is housed behind yet another high fence.

If you believe you can assist by getting this story into the wider media and to the public's attention please contact:


Sunday, September 14, 2008


Garth Daniels wants to be a photographer – to capture a moment of exquisite beauty or a timeless truth. Garth Daniels wants to be free.
In his very neat bedroom at his parent’s Melbourne home is a poster of Nelson Mandela looking out – “There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere.” Garth Daniels knows this to be true; after twelve excruciating years of being drugged, imprisoned without trial, forced into unlawful clinical tests, abused by the Victoria Mental Health system and seen his family fight to the last cent to free him - there is no easy walk - Garth Daniels is still not free.

His parents, Marilyn and Bernard left a repressive South Africa divided brutally by apartheid when Garth was only five. It was to provide a freer life in a country that better cherished the rights of individuals regardless of your ethnic origins: Bernard is of part Kalahari heritage in amongst an exotic mix of other nations. Garth’s parents saw first hand how police beat suspects, how the legal system distorted justice and how the mental health facilities in South Africa were institutes of torture and housed some of the most despicable crimes in apartheid’s inglorious history. But Australia would be different. It was a country that offered hope to their children and Bernard wanted, like any parent, to provide every opportunity for their future wellbeing.

In 1996, after a party, being like many a 21 year old has been, slightly stoned from one too many joints, Garth Daniels felt slightly unwell and presented to Maroondah Hospital. From what was a rudimentary visit quickly collapsed Garth Daniels into a 12 year nightmare that is still not over. At a stroke of a pen, without need for charging, without trial, Garth Daniels became an involuntary mental health patient and against his knowledge, his parent’s knowledge, without consent, he was given PharMa Drugs (Rxs') usually resevered for persons diagnosed as Schizophrenic - when all he had was a drug induced headache. In 1998 , not having fully recovered from the massive "overdose " of Chlorpromazine and excessive number of intra-muscualr injections and treatment emergent Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) was forcibly and unlawfully placed into a clandestine drug trial involving the highly controversial Zyprexa made by pharmaceutical behemoth Eli Lilly.

Zyprexa has been linked with triggering strokes, exacerbating suicidal tendencies; in fact there lists of over 150 known adverse side effects to this drug of which Garth Daniels has been unfortunate enough to experience many of them over the years. But he is not alone. Ely Lilly recently settled a class action in the US for nearly $700 million for not putting warning labels on Zyprexa bottles stating that it could cause humans diabetes. It is a drug that has been removed from use in many countries, in Asia and Europe yet it shows up constantly in mental health facilities and pharmacies around Australia: Eli Lilly still help fund many clinical trials, conferences and scholarships in this country and around the world. They are also the company who brought us Prozac until it too disappeared under the massive weight of class actions around the globe brought about by it linked with increased suicide and gun rampages. Despite all this seemingly damning evidence against Zyprexa, it still forms the corner stone of Ely Lilly’s global sales pouring over a billion dollars annually into their coffers.

After 1996 Garth Daniels’ mental health spiralled downwards into a never ending abyss of more psychiatrists, more involuntary stays in Eastern Health facilities, then in 1998 Zyprexa, more “episodes,” more misery for himself and his now helpless family. The simple fact is that Garth Daniels has never recovered from that initial prescription of drugs and drug trials and looks as if he never will. But mental illness, whether caused by dubious drug trials, over recommended levels of Zyprexa, forced imprisonment is still not the real issue. Human Rights need to be extended to all human beings and this includes those subject to the Mental Health Act. In short, that is everybody whether you, family or friends believe you are mentally well or not- it is not your decision – it’s the doctors and at Eastern Health those doctors in charge are South Africans who don’t care much for questioning their treatment methods, their massive drug doses and behavioural throwback to apartheid practices when supposedly treating patients compassionately in an Australian mental health facility.

In 2006 Garth was incarcerated involuntarily at the Austin Hospital for over 6 months without access to legal rights, friends, parents and suffered terribly as a consequence. Whilst under a hospital which boasts the by line “Your partner in health” he was overdosed on Zyprexa exacerbating many of the already hideous side effects compounded even more by loneliness and fear whilst in solitary confinement. Quite frankly Joseph Mengele would be a more comforting partner in health.

Not satisfied with attempting to destroy Garth’s health, Austin Hospital then took Bernard and Marilyn Daniels’ to VCAT in an attempt to strip Bernard of his power of medical attorney and their right to be guardian over Garth. Put simply it was a disgrace that in Victoria 2006, boasting of freedom and supporting family, here was an instance where Austin Health sought to destroy the one vestige of hope Garth Daniels was clinging to. The Victorian government who were well aware of the issues and the case have stood by and allowed this evil to happen. Mercifully VCAT realised that it was manipulative and indeed unnecessary for any action involving the family break up to be even considered and threw the case out. What happened next has continued a nightmare under the auspices of Victorian Mental Health, Victoria Government and those at Maroondah and Box Hill hospitals.

In the meantime the Victorian government who are well aware of the issues and the medical and legal cases involving Garth Daniels have stood by and allowed this evil to happen. The ghost of Edmund Bourke must prowl the corridors of the Health Department and Premier's office screaming, "FOR EVIL TO FLOURISH IT TAKES GOOD MEN TO DO NOTHING." In the case it has taken many good people to do absolutely nothing.

This story has also been bouncing off the walls of 'The Age" – a media outlet constantly trumpeting that it is one of the world's leading papers. Apart from a couple of castrated articles written with no names and really nil impact. They were unable to generate any indignity among a wider media, absolutely nothing has been written of this in the wider press or exposed in the electronic media. Considering that it took the journalist Mark Russell nearly a year of constant urging to eventually write such a veiled piece for the "Sunday Age" is in itself shameful. It is shameful mainly on behalf of the Age's legal team who have constantly suppressed the article. It has meant that despite knowing of Garth Daniels dreadful plight for over two years, "The Age" has remained silent and Garth Daniels has been left to suffer and his father been made to fight for his son's safety alone.

Eventually Garth is released to allow a gradual withdrawal of Zyprexa side effects and entered Maroondah Hospital in January 2008 seeking medical assistance and was immediately and involuntarily incarcerated at the stroke of a doctor’s pen. Plunged into solitary confinement for a month, where he was allowed to shout for five minutes a day through a thick door at his distraught parents, helpless and unable to save him. Garth Daniel’s was confined in a cell for 24 hours a day where he ate, drank, urinated and defecated in the same confines. Every basic human right was trampled and if we were reading this as happening in Zimbabwe or Tibet we as human beings of a supposedly moral and legally fair society would be horrified. But to have this happen to Garth Daniels and no one in the hospital system, the Victorian government or the media do anything about this abomination; one has to wonder who is compassionate and who are cowards.

Garth Daniels was released into the care of the Alfred Hospital who, at one stage actually cared and nursed him back to health. The moment he was taken into care at the Maroondah Hospital instead of being treated as a human being he was again thrown into solitary confinement, treated worse than an abused dog and afforded absolutely no rights. This is a spiral bouncing him between the Alfred to nurse him back to health and to the Maroondah to again destroy his fragile sanity and health again.

There can be no excuse for this as it violates every tenet of human rights. It is immoral, it is deliberate and Garth Daniels will die if this inhumanity is allowed to continue for much longer. Someone on the Victorian government needs to be held responsible for what the myriad of doctors, many of whom are South African immigrants still practicing apartheid health treatments upon an innocent man. The Supreme Court made a ruling to bring about better care for Garth Daniels. This decision handed down to the Maroondah and Alfred Hospitals has been ignored by those doctors at Maroondah charged with Garth’s well being. Changing the “Treatment Plan” to a “Management Plan” had effectively derailed that 10 June Supreme Court ruling of Justice Judd. The Mental Health Review Board approved the Alfred Hospital Treatment Plan but could not rule on the Maroondah Hospital Treatment Plan as it had been retitled Management Plan, which was outside the jurisdiction of the Board.

Not surprising Garth Daniels was again transferred from Maroondah Hospital after spending three gruelling weeks in solitary confinement to the Alfred, where Garth is being nurtured back to health, and out of seclusion only to be prepared to be transferred back to Maroondah Hospital.(sic)

One day soon there may be a very small obituary in this paper stating that Garth Daniels, loved son of Bernard and Marilyn, loving brother of Andre has passed away.

What it will not say is that he has been tortured to death under the very eye of those we turn to in moments of need.

The Alfred Hospital at this time of writing have Garth Daniels locked in seclusion.

The Victoria Government touts a human rights charter that has completely and utterly deserted Garth Daniels and his family at the moment they needed it. Leaving South Africa filled Bernard and his family with hope but Garth Daniels is on the verge of being killed by the Mental Health system of Victoria.