The Victorian Mental Health Act is under review and it currently allows for children to be electroshocked, restrained, secluded and forcibly drugged without the need for any parental consent. This law removes parental and patient rights and it is proposed that when drafted, the bill will not released to the public for input and is instead sent straight to Parliament for voting on.
he Victorian Mental Health Act is under review and it currently allows for children to be electroshocked, restrained, secluded and forcibly drugged without the need for any parental consent. This law removes parental and patient rights and it is proposed that when drafted, the bill will not released to the public for input and is instead sent straight to Parliament for voting on.
Electroshock (ECT) is the application of hundreds of volts of electricity to the head to induce a grand mal seizure, (convulsion). It can cause brain damage, memory loss and even death.
So torturous is ECT that one Australian woman forced to undergo electroshock, close to 100 times against her will, said she has had security guards wheel her down to the treatment room holding her down so she didn’t escape. “I felt like I was being wheeled down to the gas chamber really,” she said. She would even eat from stashed food to avoid the general anaesthetic and when staff found her food, she resorted to eating grass to avoid the electroshock.
16 years ago, the World Health Organisation stated, “There are no indications for the use of ECT on minors, and hence this should be prohibited through legislation.”
Despite this clear directive, the current Victorian Mental Health Act still allows children under 18 to be able to consent to electroshock if deemed to have the “capacity to give informed consent.”
Children under 18 are not allowed to drink, drive unsupervised or vote, but they can choose such drastic treatment. And worse still, parental approval is not needed at any stage, including when the case goes before the Mental Health Tribunal for final approval. Electroshock can also be given to involuntarily detained children, again without any parental consent.
Instead of banning restraint, it is proposed to phase it out within 10 years. Former Austin Hospital Director of Mental Health Dr. Richard Newton, said he would estimate one death each year in Victoria in circumstances involving restraint, forced sedation and seclusion. There were a staggering 170 episodes of bodily restraint (mechanical and physical) on children aged 0-12 in 2019/20.
CCHR has written the enclosed Fact Sheet on the key problem area and there is further information on our website: cchr victoria.org.au
Submissions (feedback) close on 1 August 2021. Please as a matter of urgency, help protect our children by sending a submission to firstname.lastname@example.org In your submission you need to say that you are commenting on “Treatment, care and support.” Please demand the draft law is made available for public comment in your submission.
Please also let your colleagues and others know so they too can take action. Thank you for all you are doing to protect our children.
Citizens Committee on Human Rights Victoria