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 ?