GENERAL INFORMATION FOR MEDICAL CLINICS
[ STOP_FORCED_DRUGGING ]
This Media release is to bring to notice what Hillmorton psychiatric medical staff are statutorily authorized to do. Medical staff at that hospital, like many other such hospitals throughout New Zealand, have, in certain circumstances, statutory authority to use force against patients. Section 122B(3) of the MHA reads:
(3)A person treating a patient to whom [[section 58 or]] section 59 applies may use such force as is reasonably necessary in the circumstances.
Pursuant to the above subsection 'person[s]' at Hillmorton have a statutory discretion to use '...such force as is reasonably necessary in the circumstances' to treat patients. Note, the use of force applies to patients held under either section 58 or section 59.
Section 122B(3) overrides the right to refuse medical treatment in section 11 NZBORA:
11. Right to refuse medical treatment – Everyone has the right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment.
Forced psychiatric treatment (contrary to s.11) is what Hillmorton medical staff are statutorily authorized to do under the MHA.
Photos of inside Hillmorton psychiatric hospital
Christchurch New Zealand around 2000. SFD believes
this particular wing is now disused.
A word of caution regarding interpretation of s.122B(3) of the MHA:
Throughout this blog it has been stated that medical staff have a discretion to use reasonable force, pursuant to s.122B(3) of the MHA, to treat a patient held under either section 58 or section 59. It has been further stated that this discretion is not limited to emergency situations.
However, upon reflection, this interpretation may have been wrong. It may have been over- stating the matter. This is because a patient must first be detained, before reasonable force is used to treat them. Detention is always prior to treatment.
If this interpretation is the correct one, an “emergency”(see s.122B(1) MHA) is first required before the power to use force to detain a patient (s.122B(2)(b)) and the discretion to use reasonable force to treat that patient (s.122B(3)) can be invoked.
That having been said: surely it would have been easy enough for Parliament to expressly state that the discretion found in s.122B(3) is restricted to “emergency” situations only. Why was this never expressly stated in s.122B(1) itself? Still, there are sound reasons for restricting s.122B(3) to emergency situations, as this interpretation would accord more with the usual bodily integrity arguments and also the Bill of Rights Act.
DISCLAIMER FROM PERSONAL LIABILITY
THE WRITER OF THIS BLOG ACCEPTS NO CIVIL LIABILITY WHATSOEVER FOR THE CONTENTS OF THIS BLOG: NEITHER IS THE WRITER RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY LIABILITY FOR INACCURACIES REGARDING ANY INFORMATION ON THIS BLOG LEGAL OR OTHERWISE: THIS BLOG WAS NOT, AND NEVER HAS BEEN AND NEVER WILL BE INTENDED AS SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE >IT MERELY EXPRESSES SOME GENERAL OPINIONS ON LEGAL MATTERS AND SERVES THAT VERY LIMITED PURPOSE: DO NOT RELY ON IT.