MindFreedom Ireland submission on proposed changes to the                                  Mental Health Act 2001.     “Mental illness” means a state of mind of a person which affects the person's thinking, perceiving, emotion or judgment and which seriously impair the mental function of the person to the extent that he or she requires care or medical treatment in his or her own interest or in the interest of other persons.”  Mental Health Act 2001   Under the Mental Health Act 2001, Irish citizens can be forced to receive medical treatment that may not be for their own good.  They can be forced to receive electroshock that can cause brain damage and dysfunction without any beneficial effects whatsoever.  They can be forced to receive psychotropic drugs which have serious life threatening effects for some and can even cause violence while lobotomies are allowed to be performed if the person is willing to be brain damaged.   In order to force treat innocent victims all that is required is the approval of two psychiatrists.  Most Irish psychiatrists are happy to force treat people even though unlike  other medical doctors, they have no test (blood test, scan or x-ray) to verify that anyone indeed has a’ mental illness’.     If a person is sick because she/he has diabetes the doctor can perform a test to prove it exists and prescribe the appropriate treatment.  If the person does not want the treatment she/he has the right to refuse it even though it might cause serious harm to do so including death for some.  However psychiatrists who diagnose people as ‘mentally ill’, with no evidence to prove it exists, have the outrageous power to brain damage people in the name of ‘help’.   Criminals are innocent until proven guilty, yet those who are deemed ‘mentally ill’ on the word of two psychiatrists do not have the right to defend themselves.  They do not have the right to have an advanced directive respected under the law.  Those diagnosed as ‘mentally ill’ are treated as sub human - as non persons - as people who do not have the same human/civil rights as other citizens.  The Mental Health Act of 2001 makes sure they are denied their human/civil rights.   "Currently, a 77-year-old woman is receiving a course of electric shock treatment (ECT) against her will and against the will of her family at Limerick’s psychiatric unit.   The woman is believed to be seriously depressed, but does not think the treatment is benefiting her and has expressed this opinion. It is understood she has already had the controversial treatment at least 10 times.   A family member told the Irish Examiner that they had written to the woman’s doctor and the hospital stating that they did not want the woman to have this treatment in accordance with her own wishes.   The case once again highlights the power of psychiatrists who can overrule patients and families when it comes to making decisions about treatment" Irish Examiner 7th October, 2011. http://wnusp.rafus.dk/wnusp-realeases-statement-on-the-implications-of-the-crpd-on-forced-treatment.html       "I have heard first hand what ‘ECT’ can do to an individual and that it seldom works in the long term.  Patients, or perhaps more aptly 'victims' are often severely traumatised by the experience and left with memory gaps, which don't seem to improve over time.”  Shirli Walker   If the Mental Health Act 2001 did not give so much power to those who believe there is only one way to view psychosocial problems and enshrine that in the law,  then Sherli Walker would  not have to make the above statement.   MindFreedom Ireland  Phone no. 021 4894303 www.mindfreedomireland.com www.mindfreedom.org www.wnusp.org