Our first report is a call to arms! An innocuous-sounding Mental Health Draft Bill is being prepared for the UK parliament for review after September. It is intended to revise the Mental Health Act, 1983.
If you’re of good mental health, you might switch off straight away. Perhaps you see it as another piece of legislation that is probably necessary to deal with a sector of our community with which you have little experience.
Unfortunately it is far more insidious, and if you are in any way ‘eccentric’ – for instance, you might have decided not to give your children the MMR – then listen up.
MPs, doctors, and those in psychiatric medicine are currently looking at the proposals that will formulate the bill. As they stand, the proposals give a doctor an absolute right to enter your home, and to drug and pacify you against your will.
Now, what will determine the doctor’s decision to enter your home? Fundamentally, it will be whether he feels you have a ‘mental disorder’, which, in the new draft proposals, is defined as any disability, or disorder of mind or brain which results in an impairment or disturbance of mental functioning.’
It’s a wonderfully loose definition. Are you showing some impairment or disturbance of mental functioning if you decide not to vaccinate your children? We’re sure you can think of your own examples of something you stand for that goes against convention.
Clearly, these proposals are a violation of basic human rights, and give the doctor the power of judge and jury, and you will have no recourse to plead your innocence.
So what can you do? There’s a very short window of opportunity to make your voice heard. E-mail, or better still, write to your local MP (log onto: http://www.locata.co.uk/commons for his details), and let him know what you think about these proposals. You can also e-mail directly to the secretary of state for health, Alan Milburn, MP, by logging onto: http://www.health.gov.uk.
Whoever you decide to lobby, please be courteous and constructive, and point out the infringement to personal liberties the draft proposals represent.
We have until 16 September to make our voices heard.