The Debate Hall > Informal Debates

Reform about involuntary commitment and the like

(1/5) > >>

Hello , everybody !

I'd like to speak with you about involuntary commitment and the like (Someone forced to see a psychiatrist one time by week because of a judiciary decision , someone living outside of an asylum or outside another place to deprive someone of his liberty of movement forced to take medicines , someone forced to take part to a therapy etc...) where you live.
I'm a Frenchman living in France and I will tell you the situation in French Republic.

The majority of people don't know the legislation and regulation about involuntary commitment and the like specified in articles L3211-1 to L3251-6 and R3211-1 to R3225-1 of "code de la santé" (Public health code).
When I will make reference to "code de la santé publique" I'll use letters "CSP" to simplify.

In my country (France) when you are being involuntary committed you can contact the psychiatrist of your choice.
Your family can also contact the psychiatrist chosen by them to help you.
This right is guaranteed by the second paragraph of article L3211-1 of CSP but this right is often not respected if we believe testimonies that I read.

The article L3211-2 of CSP say someone who is in an asylum without being in involuntary commitment is being treated with his / her consenting to the commitment.
But it does exist non official involuntary commitment because someone of the medical team can threat the person to launch the procedure for an involuntary commitment if the patient refuse to stay.
If you are in an asylum and want to go. If you're facing to someone who threat you of an involuntary commitment if you want to go and stay because you fear this threat. You're de facto in a situation of involuntary commitment even if you're not de jure in this situation.
We haven't statistics about non official involuntary commitment even if this is a reality.

Accorded to article L3211-3 of CSP a person being involuntary committed have eight fundamental rights but I will speak only about six of these.
The third right mentioned in article L3211-3 of CSP is the right to contact the "Contrôleur général des lieux de privation de liberté" (Comptroller General of places of deprivation of liberty) but in real world you can be in a situation in which you can't exercise this right if no one give you pen and papers or if every members of the medical team refuse to write for you.
The fourth right is to chose the lawyer of the doctor of your choice but this right is often not respected.
The fifth right is to send and receive paper mails but this right is often violated.
The sixth right is to read the "réglement intérieur" (Internal rules) of the asylum and receive explanations about it but this right is often violated.
The seventh right is the right to vote in political election but how can you exercise this right if you're involuntary committed and not allowed to get out of the facility (Some patients have the right to get out but not all) and if there are not poll vote in the facility.
You can try a proxy vote but what can you do if you don't know someone of trust for a proxy vote ?
The eight right is to practice the religion or philosophical activities of your choice but I have some weak reports about violations of this right.
Patients aren't always informed of theirs rights even if medical team must to do so because it is specified in article L3211-3 of CSP

Accorded to article L3222-5-1 of CSP isolation and tools to avoid the patient move (For example a straitjacket) must to be used only to avoid the patient hurt him(her)self or another person in last resort. This kind of measures can be used for a patient who isn't dangerous for his / her life or others even if this is illegal.
The same article say there must have a register to note who is under this measure , the name of the psychiatrist who took the decision , date and hour of beginning and the end , the name of people who monitored the patient but there were cases in which there were no register even if this is a violation of law.
This article is often violated and it was renown officially by some organs of French Republic.

In theory only someone who is a threat for his / her life or / and others can be involuntary committed.
But in real world you can be involuntary committed because someone that you know or many people did conspirated against you.
There were some cases of abuses reknown by French justice (Very rare because victims of real conspiracies are often considered as paranoiac).
I know the case of a woman who can prove in a French court she was a victim of a conspiracy between a doctor (The doctor didn't examined her as the law ask) and her husband to commit her in an asylum.
You can be victim of a conspiracy for various reasons like some members of your family who want to be your curateur (curator) or tuteur (guardian) to take your money because it easier to put someone on curatelle (curatorship) or tutelle (guardianship) if he / she is in an asylum but what they don't know is there are high probabilities to see a professional appointed and not a family member.
Among the most common reasons for which people can be victims of a conspiracy is the person who want exclusive custody of the child(ren) because if we believe the other parent have mental issue it's easier to get exclusive custody and if the other parent explain the truth he / she will be considered as a paranoiac or someone who is denying his / her mental illness.

In France there are people who fled the country because they were forced to see a psychiatrist or / and forced to take medicines.
I tried to found data about these people but I did found only some cases even if there are probably hundred or thousand of people who fled France to escape to psychiatric system.
It does seem no French officials spoke publicly of these people who fled the country.

There are so many kind of violations that I can't write more because it would be long.

This used to be common in the US.  But was discontinued from public health law, back in the 70s.  Because liberals decided that crazy people were an oppressed minority.  When the let the crazies out (residential control with drugs) there were two fatal stabbings the first year.

The other source of that law in the US is commitment of elderly relatives.  Recently had direct experience with that.  The law is grey.  Relatives are both damned for keeping the demented at home, or for getting a doctor to do some paperwork that the nursing home will legally accept.

Is this a subject that hits close to home for you?
I'm not saying it is not interesting.

I've had to start up the process for legal guardianship for two clients so far.
Belgium, not France.

In a perfect world, criminals would be cured of their insanities and therefore be among the most trustable of people.  In a perfect world, criminals would get treatments for the things that caused them to act criminally.  We wouldn't have "prisons", we would have "penitentiaries" where people contemplated their past harms and were helped to understand the harm of illegal deeds and why they did them.

Wake me up when that happens...

A perfect world wouldn't have any criminality in the first place, would it? So no penitentiaries would be needed.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version