«“Dignity must prevail” – An appeal to do away with non-consensual psychiatric treatment World Mental Health Day – Saturday 10 October 2015
GENEVA (8 October 2015) – The United Nations Special Rapporteurs on the rights of persons with disabilities, Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, and on the right to health, Dainius Pûras, today called on States to eradicate all forms of non-consensual psychiatric treatment.
Speaking ahead of the World Mental Health Day*, the independent experts urged Governments to put an end to arbitrary detention, forced institutionalisation and forced treatment, in order to ensure that persons with developmental and psychosocial disabilities are treated with dignity and their human rights respected.
Dignity cannot be compatible with practices of force treatment which may amount to torture. States must halt this situation as a matter of urgency and respect each person’s autonomy, including their right to choose or refuse treatment and care.
The concept of ‘medical necessity’ behind non-consensual placement and treatment falls short of scientific evidence and sound criteria. The legacy of the use of force in psychiatry is against the principle ‘primum non nocere’ (first do no harm) and should no more be accepted.
We call on States to end all instances of arbitrary detention, forced institutionalisation and forced treatment, to ensure that persons with developmental and psychosocial disabilities are treated with dignity and are provided their rights to have their decisions respected at all times, and to have access to the needed support and accommodation to effectively communicate such decisions.”»