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Saeed Dezfouli

Iran tells Mental Tribunal: "Unfair"

Mr Saeed Dezfouli is a dual Iranian and Australian citizen who has been indefinitely detained in the clogged and inhuman mental health system of NSW since January 2002. He is protesting against being physically and mentally tortured, sexually harassed and assaulted by NSW prison officers and staff of Justice Health. In response, he renounced his Australian citizenship in August 2017 to repatriate to Iran, despite coming to Australia as a refugee in 1983.

Mr Dezfouli’s treating psychiatrist Dr. Sathish Dayalan and the President of the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal Mr Richard Cogswell have set requirements in order to issue the repatriation order of Mr Dezfouli to Iran. The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to apprehend Mr Dezfouli on arrival in Iran and confine him to a secure mental health facility until released by due process of the law in Iran.

The Iranian embassy, in a letter to Richard Cogswell, has found this recommendation of the Mental Health Tribunal to be unlawful, unfair and concerning for the Iranian government to do this to its own citizen. Now, Mr Dezfouli remains indefinitely within the maximum security mental health system of NSW.

In his letter to Richard Cogswell, Mr Dezfouli has stated that, if by 1200 hours on the 7th of March, his unconditional repatriation order is not issued by the Tribunal, he will commence a dry hunger strike (nil by mouth) and refuse all of his cardiac medication, which will result in his death. Mr Dezfouli is asking for the support of all the kind people in NSW to contact the President of the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal Mr Richard Cogswell and express their support and concern for him. We support his desperate plea for help.

Comments: Brett Collins 0438 705 003

 

Iranian Embassy Statements and Other Correspondence

Mental Tribunal snubs Iranian representatives

Media release 14th March 2017 

"In a move that exposed the dishonesty of the forensic mental health system, the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal decided on March 10th to stall the repatriation of Mr. Saeed Dezfouli to Iran whilst it did more research into the Iranian mental health system and its adequacy. The decision demonstrates flagrant disrespect not only for the Iranian government, but also for Mr. Dezfouli’s family and the expert opinion of his care workers. In April 2016 the Tribunal stated that “we would do whatever we could.... To help get [Mr. Dezfouli] home” and emphasised that they desired a quick resolution to the issue. Now it realises that Saeed’s case and his mistreatment highlights the system’s endemic failure" said Justice Action Coordinator Brett Collins.

“The Tribunal’s justification for postponing its decision for another six months is that additional research into treatment in Iran is required. This information could be easily ascertained in a phone call, and has already been supplied several times. The Tribunal would rather drag its feet trying to look responsible than accept its failure and allow him to be supported by his family in his homeland. This is shameful conduct at the highest level” said Mr. Collins.

"The latest Tribunal decision, chaired by President Richard Cogswell, starkly shows that its priorities lie with justifying their ineffective treatment of Mr. Dezfouli. His sole wish is to reunite with his sister and ailing mother in Iran. The hearing on Friday was the second time representatives of the Iranian consulate have travelled from Canberra to assist in Mr. Dezfouli’s case, only to have their competency questioned by the Tribunal. The Iranians have made clear their and Saeed’s family’s commitment and ability to provide community-based, rehabilitative support to Mr. Dezfouli. They are also providing travel documents" said Mr Collins.

"Saeed Dezfouli featured in the ABC program ‘The man without a name’. He challenged disrespect for his rights and exposed the system’s lack of accountability in three cases to the Supreme Court. Saeed, a gentle man, has been held for 15 years following an act punishable by 3 years. He remains in the highest security hospital costing taxpayers $300,000 a yearMr. Dezfouli continues to be denied the opportunity to return to his homeland, instead being held indefinitely as not guilty due to mental illness" said Mr Collins.   

"During his ‘treatment’ Mr. Dezfouli has been forcibly medicated, trialling 9 different medications, causing side effects including diabetes and heart disease. In March 2014 the Tribunal recommended that he have access to a consumer worker and a computer. After those recommendations were ignored by the hospital, the then Tribunal President said he was ‘disappointed’ and that ‘sometimes the system needs a kicking’. Three years later Saeed still has neither and he continues to get the kicking" said Mr Collins.

I will renounce my Australian citizenship and return to Iran to escape the torture at the hands of these doctors. I am still shocked at the culture of abuse in Australia's so-called health care. I feel sick in my stomach waiting for their poison to hit my brain. I have been physically and mentally tortured, sexually harassed and assaulted by prison officers and staff at mental health facilities. I have been used as a guinea pig by testing psychotic medications" said Mr. Dezfouli (see full statement here).

Tribunal supports repatriation 28 April 1016

Below is the formal response submitted to the Mental Health Review Tribunal
The JA media release is here.

Formal Primary Carer/Justice Action Proposals and Response to Justice Health Report
Submitted to Saeed Dezfouli Mental Health Review Tribunal Hearing, 28 April 2016

The Justice Health’s Report is clearly and demonstrably unfair. It has a negative slant toward all of Mr. Dezfouli’s behaviour, even when other interpretations of his behaviour are equally viable. This negative bias undermines the value judgments the Hospital makes where their expertise and discretions are officially adopted. Justice Health was required to provide Mr. Dezfouli with this Report two weeks before the Hearing. We would like to draw attention to the Tribunal that the Report was a week late and disadvantaged Saeed.

The former Mental Tribunal President Professor Dan Howard previously expressed his disappointment in the Health Department’s failure to implement Tribunal recommendations for Saeed, stating that “sometimes the system needs a kicking.” Nevertheless, despite the Tribunal’s recommendations, the Report has dismissed Mr. Dezfouli’s lack of access to a consumer worker and a stand-alone computer as insignificant. This conduct by Justice Health is further evidence of an unfair and corrupt system, which misleads the people it is supposed to protect as well as the Tribunal itself.

Our Proposal

In response to the Report, Justice Action proposes that the Tribunal grants Mr. Dezfouli escorted leave from the Hospital; support for repatriation to Iran; access to a stand-alone computer; and access to a consumer worker.

1. Support from the Tribunal for Repatriation to Iran
Mr. Dezfouli expresses a strong desire to be repatriated to Iran. Mr. Dezfouli has already been detained within the forensic system for longer than he would have been detained following conviction. Mr. Dezfouli believes that being detained indefinitely is unfair and inhumane and that repatriation is his only solution (see NSW Law Reform Commission Report 138 pg xx states his situation as being unfair, and the current Senate Inquiry examining the same issue, ‘Indefinite detention of people with cognitive and psychiatric impairment in Australia’). Support from the Tribunal is required to facilitate the repatriation of Mr. Dezfouli to Iran.

2. Escorted Leave from the Hospital
The Justice Health Nursing Report refers to a request made by Mr. Douglas Holmes to grant escorted leave for Mr. Dezfouli from the Hospital (see p. 24.4 of the Justice Health Report). We propose Mr. Dezfouli is granted escorted leave with Mr. Holmes in the next period.

3. Access to Stand-Alone Computer
Justice Action has requested a stand-alone computer without Internet access for Mr. Dezfouli’s educational use (see email from Brett Collins to Tobias Mackinnon, 15 September 2014 6:42pm, Re: Saeed – computer access). The Tribunal provided that “Mr. Dezfouli’s said treating team give every due consideration to facilitating, as soon as practicable, Mr. Dezfouli’s reasonable access to a computer, without internet access, for the purpose of study in the context of any appropriate educational courses that he undertakes” (see 20 March 2014, Tribunal’s Reasons for Decision, at p.55). Justice Health has not reported back to the Tribunal as to why Mr. Dezfouli should not be given computer access. We propose Mr. Dezfouli is granted access to this computer in the next period.

4. Access to Consumer Worker
The Tribunal saw considerable merit in allowing support from a consumer worker, recommending that “support from a suitably qualified mental health consumer worker or workers as the treating team may think fit for the purpose of assisting and supporting Mr. Dezfouli’s recovery and rehabilitation” (see 20 March 2014, Tribunal’s Reasons for Decision, at p. 55). Mr. Dezfouli has not seen a consumer worker in his capacity as a consumer. We propose the Tribunal makes a recommendation that Mr. Dezfouli has access to a consumer worker to facilitate his recovery and rehabilitation.


Justice Health’s Report

The Report provides a very negative portrayal of Mr. Dezfouli and does not support his return to Iran. Justice Health has discredited itself through the slanted, misleading and dishonest information it has presented to the Tribunal, which is addressed below.

1) Determination to justify violent concerns
a. Heavy emphasis is made on Mr. Dezfouli’s violent threats on repeated occasions, however, at no time has Mr. Dezfouli been violent towards the staff or other patients (see pp. 2.6; 16.8; 18.1).
i. “Feels like Volcano Mountain which is calm outside but boiling inside” (p. 5.2).
ii. Reference to throwing a chair as an example of unprovoked aggression (see p. 6.9).
b. Hostility toward Dr. Sinclair by refusing to speak with her and regarding her in a hostile manner.
iii. In a phone call, Mr. Dezfouli stated that he does not talk to Dr. Sinclair, so she could not know what amount of time he is spending thinking about his perceived mistreatment by the Australian government and the Forensic Hospital.
c. Mr. Dezfouli is angry and frustrated but he is not violent.

2) Determination to justify mental illness
a. Cited that he was laughing to himself and covering his face with his shirt (see p. 14.3)
i. Mr. Dezfouli cites that the medication he was taking makes him gassy and he was amused by the noise and proceeded to cover his nose. The nurses made no attempt to communicate with him about the incident or allow him to explain himself; they immediately and erroneously attributed the incident to a mental illness and psychosis.
b. Dr. Keller’s provided a second opinion in a letter emphasising that Mr. Dezfouli had (see p. 9.5):
i. Ongoing delusions of persecution; and
ii. A negative, dismissive and disparaging attitude towards the psychiatrist.
c. Interpretation of his determination to be repatriated as a sign of Mr. Dezfouli’s lack of insight into his mental illness (see p. 14.6).
d. Treating Mr. Dezfouli’s belief that he can control the government and how they will treat him through his actions as acts of delusion (see p. 15.2).

3) Physical side effects
a. Evidence of forced medication side effects (see pp. 5.3; 7.9; 23.2).
b. Refusal to accept medication is evidence of self-harm (see p. 3.5).
c. In refusing to accept medication, Mr. Dezfouli is manifesting his own side effects (see p. 3.5).

4) Iranian repatriation (see pp. 10.7; 14.8; 18.6)
a. Mr. Dezfouli’s desire to be repatriated into Iran has been used as evidence of mental illness by:
i. unfairly using repatriation to effect indefinite incarceration as an NGMI patient; and
ii. unfairly using repatriation to show that he has a “lack of insight” into his mental illness because he does not understand the state of Iranian conditions in Iran (see p. 11.3).
b. Mr. Dezfouli believes that going to Iran is better than staying in Australia and being treated unfairly (see NSW Law Reform Commission Report 138 and Senate Inquiry on this issue).
i. In a phone call, Mr. Dezfouli stated that repatriation is his only solution
ii. Repatriation will require the assistance of the Tribunal. There is nothing in the report that indicates that the hospital will support his repatriation.
iii. In a phone call, Mr. Dezfouli stated that Australia does not want him to go to Iran because they would have one less “guinea pig” to test their medications on.
iv. Mr. Dezfouli does not want to comply with the Tribunal because he claims the Tribunal won’t fix the problem, as the problem is the whole system itself.

5) Consumer workers (see pp. 15.5; 9.2; 19.5)
a. Consumer workers are wrongly described as consumer advocates.
b. There is no reference to Tribunal recommendations.
c. This discredits the fairness and legitimacy of the Report because it is dishonest.

6) Computer access (see pgs. 7.2; 9.3; 15.5; 19.5)
a. The Report refers to Mr. Dezfouli having access to the Internet. We have not proposed for him to have access to the Internet, but rather that he have computer access for educational purposes.
b. There is no reference to Tribunal recommendations.
c. This discredits the fairness and legitimacy of the Report because it is dishonest.

Moving Forward
a. During the Tribunal hearing on 28 April, Mr. Dezfouli must discuss his personal history, which he has been avoiding thus far.
b. Mr. Dezfouli must work with the “system” in order to be released. If he continues to refuse to comply with his nurses he will not move forward with this Tribunal hearing. The Report shows that Justice Health wants the Tribunal to treat Mr. Dezfouli unfavourably.
d. Mr. Dezfouli must not lose his temper.
e. Mr. Dezfouli must be willing to discuss his personal history and index offence.

Mr. Dezfouli’s Opinions
Mr. Dezfouli opines that:
a. his psychiatrist is out to get him;
b. his psychiatrists distort the truth about what he says and falsely equate his thoughts with “delusions;”
c. the Tribunal will appeal to emotions rather than objective facts in order to keep him, as a “guinea pig” within the system;
d. he feels helpless in his situation;
e. he purposely inflames situations due to his frustrations; and
f. he will not accept that he must comply with ‘the system’ that he so hates.

Other Observations
a. The Hospital heavily relies on medication in order to treat Mr. Dezfouli and refuses to acknowledge his concerns about the side effects of the forced medication.
b. By not establishing good rapport with Mr. Dezfouli and by consistently undermining his lucidity, the Hospital is contributing to Mr. Dezfouli’s frustrations and setting back the treatment process. The Hospital sees these frustrations as validations of his mental illness and a reason to keep him there indefinitely, which is unfair.

22nd July 2015: New Attacks: Saeed renounces citizenship

New attacks: Saeed renounces citizenship

"Saeed Dezfouli who featured in the ABC program ‘The man without a name’ has been attacked again by the hospital. They have just doubled his forced medication, threatened me personally with their Emergency Response Team and to exclude me as his primary carer. The hospital needs to crush him as he challenges their disrespect for his rights and exposes the system’s lack of accountability" said Justice Action Coordinator Brett Collins.

I will renounce my Australian citizenship and return to the chaos of Iran to escape the torture at the hands of these doctors. The Iranian Consul-General just visited me for the purpose.  I am still shocked at the culture of abuse in Australia's so-called health care. I feel sick in my stomach waiting for their poison to hit my brain" said Saeed Dezfouli.  

"Over the last thirteen and a half years Saeed’s forced medication has been changed nine times.   On the 24th of June 2015, Saeed was injected with double the dose of Paliperidone on the order of psychiatrist Barbara Sinclair. On December 8th last year they injected him with Clopixol after he refused to meet with them. He had told them and the Mental Tribunal it was the drug he most feared. Have they no mercy or empathy?” asked Mr Collins.

"These attacks against Saeed are now being made against his support as well. Statewide Clinical Director Dr Tobias Mackinnon claimed that I had acted in a threatening manner by stamping my foot and pointing my finger, and that the ‘duress buttons’ were nearly pushed during a meeting. We had insisted that the Tribunal’s April 2014 recommended consumer worker support and computer access be given - still treated with contempt. The Emergency Response Team of ten nurses would have come in on me. He also threatened to remove our access to Saeed. Now the truth of their lies and brutality is seen. This correspondence is now exposed on our website” said Mr Collins. 

"Saeed is now preparing for his 4th Supreme Court appeal with a barrister currently being briefed. The Mental Health Review Tribunal is too weak to control the hospital, admitting that it has made no orders since 2009, despite Justice Lindsay’s decision that it was in a supervisory position over a patient’s detention, care and treatment. This job of ensuring mental health system accountability should not be left to an Iranian refugee” said Mr Collins.

Comments: Brett Collins 0438 705003

4th September 2014: MHRT Hearing

On 4 September 2014 the Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) convened for Saeed Dezfouli. The hearing followed a series of meetings with the hospital that were held to address why key recommendations from the last MHRT hearing had not been implemented. Justice Health’s conduct during those negotiations demonstrated an absolute unwillingness to be held accountable for their actions and a cavalier approach to the implementation of MHRT recommendations. The Lindsay judgment giving power to the Tribunal had been ignored by the hospital. Here is our Media Release.

This report details the exchanges between Saeed, his primary carer and Justice Action Coordinator, Brett Collins, his treating team from Justice Health in the period between the publication of the MHRT decision on 2 May 2014 through to the most recent hearing on 4 September 2014. The first section of this report provides a background to the recent series of meetings and hearings, including an outline of media interest in Saeed and details of the meetings that occurred. Section 2 discusses the problems with with the MHRT report handed down on 26 August 2014. The third and final section details the issues with the subsequent Hearing on 4 September 2014.


1    Background                                    

1.1    ABC - Background Briefing

The ABC Radio program Background Briefing took an interest in Saeed’s case in early 2014. The program was particularly concerned with the policy reasons for the restriction under s 162 of the Mental Health Act 2007 (NSW) that prevents the publication of Saeed’s name. The program included opinions from legal experts stating that s 162 actually acts to “protect the mental health authorities who run the Forensic Hospital from public scrutiny.” The article quoted Sascha Callaghan from the Centre for Values Ethics and the Law in Medicine at Sydney University stating the policy reasons of vulnerability of patients “can actually be used to restrict someone’s ability to vindicate their rights.” The program illustrates growing public concern about the transparency of Mental Health Review Tribunal proceedings and the realisation that current procedures are not necessarily for the protection of the patient, but to deny the accountability of people working the system.


1.2    2 May 2014 MHRT Decision

The Tribunal reviewed Saeed’s case 20 March 2014 and the resulting decision was published on 2 May 2014. The decision gave two key recommendations under s 76A of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 (NSW):

i.    That Saeed’s treating team facilitate access to a consumer worker to assist with his recovery and rehabilitation “as soon as practicable.”

ii.    That Saeed’s treating team facilitate access to a computer for education purposes “as soon as practicable,” pursuant to Saeed’s existing educational courses.


1.3    Follow-up Meetings

After the decision and prior to the 4 September 2014 hearing, three follow-up meetings were held between Justice Health, Saeed’s treating team and Brett Collins, Saeed’s primary carer. These meetings revolved around whether progress was being made on the MHRT recommendations. The meetings took place on:

•    15 May 2014
•    30 June 2014
•    25 August 2014

Justice Health’s conducting the latter two meetings have been cause for serious concerns for Justice Action and Saeed.


1.3.1    30 June 2014 Meeting

The meeting on 30 June 2014 demonstrated the unwillingness of Saeed’s treating team to be held accountable for their failure to implement the MHRT recommendations. The treating team was aggressive and treated Saeed and Brett with contempt, hostility and rudeness throughout the meeting. The psychiatrist in charge said that the reason Brett was not kept up-to-date as Saeed’s primary carer (as he was entitled under the Mental Health Act) was because the psychiatrist in charge would not respond to emails that could be used against them. This was a flagrant example of the treating team’s aversion to being held accountable for their actions.

Justice Health’s failure to implement the two MHRT recommendations was raised at the meeting. The treatment team gave the excuse that access to a computer had not been implemented because Saeed had not directly asked for it. No reason was given as to why access to a consumer worker had not been implemented.

The non-implementation of an earlier recommendation was also discussed at this meeting. On 15 May 2014, it was agreed that the false accusations made against Saeed in his Management Plan would be removed. The treating team refused to correspond with Brett about the plan altogether because they said it was “private.” This runs contrary to an email from Dr. Mackinnon, stating that the team is “committed to engaging with consumers and their families, carers and advocates.” This is yet another demonstration of the treating team’s absolute unwillingness to take responsibility for the shortcomings in their treatment of Saeed.

At one point during the meeting the psychiatrist in charge threatened to double the dose of Saeed’s medication and also change to the use of Clopixol injections. Saeed’s reaction to this was mocked and accompanied by the response: “we don’t want you to kill anyone.” This statement was completely uncalled for and offensive to Saeed, who has a record of being a gentle patient for more than twelve years. This threat also adversely affected Saeed’s trust of the treating team. Brett emphasised that trust is something to be earned and not compelled by threats. To this, the psychiatrist in charge and the primary nurse laughed out loud and said Saeed “shouldn’t expect to be treated specially.” This illustrated that the treatment team believes that treating a patient with respect and decency amounts to special treatment. The lack of acknowledgement of the link between positive engagement and trust further indicates the damaging attitude of Justice Health personnel.


1.3.2    25 August 2014 Meeting

A second meeting was held on 25 August 2014 to address Brett and Saeed’s concerns over how they were treated and the frustrating non-conclusive outcome of the 30 June 2014 meeting. Brett had to write numerous emails before a follow-up meeting was finally called. Unfortunately, the 25 August 2014 meeting proved as ineffective as the preceding meeting. The meeting merely went through the motions of allowing Saeed and Brett to discuss their concerns, but the lack of cooperation from Justice Health precluded any real results. Again, Saeed and Brett were left frustrated and confused with the surprising lack of compassion and capability shown by the treating team.

2    26 August 2014 Report by The Forensic Hospital for the MHRT        

On 26 August 2014 the Forensic Hospital published a Report on Saeed and distributed it to the MHRT. The report included numerous problems, both in procedure and substance.

The report indicated the date of the MHRT Hearing was to be 4 September 2014. The first problem was that Saeed, Brett and other representatives were not given reasonable time to respond to the report – a basic requirement of procedural fairness. The two-week period previously agreed to was completely disregarded, leaving Saeed and Brett unable to put together the evidence required to respond to the report. Speaking to Saeed to produce this evidence would have required an application for leave from the hospital. Despite being referred to on page 46 of the 2 May 2014 MHRT decision, the 26 August 2014 Report made no mention of this – a direct contradiction with the information in the earlier MHRT decision. An adjournment was requested because of the timing issue, but the Tribunal refused to grant one.

The Report equates Saeed’s voluntary submission to treatment with his being safe in the community. Further, on pages 2 and 16 the Report Saeed is painted as a violent person, a baseless claim that is of no substance. On page 5 the Report mentions Saeed being “highly socially isolated.” However, a long list of people have applied to visit Saeed and have had their applications denied. If he is isolated, it is because of the way the Forensic Hospital restricts his visitors. Justice Action has numerous emails to Justice Health in an attempt to have specific names cleared to visit Saeed, but no action has been taken in response.

The Report also made no mention of the psychiatrist in charge’s threat to double Saeed’s medication dosage occurred at the previous hearing. Since Saeed had put this threat in a blog entry it appears that that specific suggestion has been abandoned. This sequence of events might explain why Justice Health has objected so strongly to Saeed’s blog in the past – as an open channel of communication it allows some accountability in a system that seems to be severely lacking transparency.

The Report makes no mention of the second recommendation in the 2 May 2014 MHRT decision to provide access to consumer workers. Saeed has not seen a single consumer worker in his capacity as a consumer. With regard to the first recommendation of access to a computer for a reasonable time, Saeed had been given very limited access with no additional programs and was not even told the computer was available until Justice Action followed up to ask what was happening. Given these failings, it is clear that no genuine attempt to facilitate the recommendations of the MHRT has been made by Justice Health. The Report omits to mention any of these systemic failures, or the significant effort that has been required to engage with Justice Health on these issues. It was clear contempt for the Tribunal.


3     4 September Tribunal Hearing                                

3.1    JA Member Denied Visiting Access to Tribunal Hearing

Shontelle Standen, friend of Saeed and Justice Action Team Member, was arranged to attend the hearing on 4 September 2014. On the morning of the hearing, Shontelle rang the hospital to confirm that she was still cleared to attend the hearing. Shontelle was advised her visit had yet to be approved. In a follow-up call by Justice Action at 12:30 on the same day, the hospital took down Shontelle’s details but advised it would take a couple of days for approval to be granted. Hospital staff stated that internal processes such as this this take time and approval would not be given in time for the hearing later that day.

Having friends of Saeed attend Tribunal hearings has never a problem in the past. No one was notified that the procedure had changed and that special approval was now required. Luke the NUM for Dee Why admitted that the system had broken down for notification of visitor approval. Brett had raised the continual problems with the entry of visitors in an email to the Hospital Director Adrian Keller on 30 June 2014, without a response.  None of Saeed’s friends were subsequently notified that they could visit him, and after seven phone calls and emails following up the applications, and no decision being made, Justice Action assumed that approval for normal visits was deliberately being delayed.


3.1    The Hearing

The hearing itself was telling of the treating team’s failures and general lackluster approach towards Saeed. The failure to implement the two key recommendations regarding Saeed’s access to reasonable time on a computer and access to consumer workers was raised at the Hearing. The MHRT President said he was disappointed that these recommendations were not acted upon and that “sometimes the system needs a kicking.”


3.1.1    Access to Computer Recommendation

The excuse given for the delay Saeed’s recommended right to access to a computer was that there were issues of security and safety to be addressed. The hospital’s apparent concern was that having access to cables might increase Saeed’s capacity for self-harm. Brett raised the point that the Dee Why Ward was a rehabilitation medium security ward that allows CD players among other electrical equipment. It is not a place where people will commit self-harm with electrical cords, and that electrical cords were already present regardless.

The psychiatrist present said that if Saeed made an effort to be more compliant and speak openly with her,  she would assist with the computer access. However, Saeed’s solicitor was quick to dismiss this suggestion, arguing that the recommendations made by the MHRT were not to be used as inducements to force Saeed to be submissive. The MHRT President agreed, and said the issues of Saeed’s getting on with the psychiatrist and his access to a computer and education resources should be dealt with separately, and instructed Justice Health to do so, and to report back to him with any reason why computer access shouldn't happen in the ward.


3.1.2    Access to Consumer Workers

The failure to implement Saeed's access to consumer workers, as the Tribunal had recommended, was then raised at the Hearing.  The hospital said that they were in the process of bringing them in, but that security protocols were delaying the process. Brett highlighted that many of the sixty consumer workers employed by the Health Department already had access to high security areas in other hospitals, so the extra protocol was not a time-consuming task. The Forensic Hospital’s tactic of hiding behind procedural excuses demonstrated that they were unwilling to obey Tribunal direction in good faith at all. The Tribunal looked ineffectual and Saeed's complaints were proved justified.

3.1.3    Saeed’s Blog

The President said that he'd received complaints from the Hospital about Saeed's blog on the JA website. It was suggested that entries might contravene s 162 of the Mental Health Act 2007 (NSW) because it included the names of people working in the hospital. Justice Action undertook to make a careful analysis of the content of Saeed’s blog after the hearing, and concluded that none of the information was in breach as it complained of staff behaviour in the hospital as Saeed was entitled to do, and nothing revealed at Tribunal hearings. It reported that to the Tribunal.


3.1.4    Decisions

The hospital was asked to report to the Tribunal on progress with the Tribunal recommendations in its 2 May decision. Further, it was decided the MHRT would reconvene in six months instead of a proposed twelve months to monitor progress with hospital undertakings.


Conclusion                                                        
The hearing demonstrated Justice Health’s cavalier approach towards Saeed and others in their care. The defensiveness of the Forensic Hospital was evident throughout, from the record of their treatment of Saeed and Brett in meetings to their total failure to implement key recommendations handed down from the MHRT. The problems with the system were accurately captured by the MHRT President’s obvious frustration, and comments about how disappointed he was at the persistent failures and that “sometimes the system needs a kicking.”

Justice Action will make sure that those employed to assist in Saeed and others' treatment start to see their obligations differently, and raise their effort to a higher standard than has been demonstrated so far. Saeed is entitled to support, to be treated honestly and with respect as the law requires. At least the Tribunal got a whiff of what Saeed has endured.

Last modified on 26 September 2014

16th July 2015: Hospital doubles dosage and attacks Carer

Saeed Dezfouli who featured in the ABC program ‘The man without a name’ has been subjected to a series of new attacks against his personal support and bodily integrity.

On the 24th of June 2015, Saeed was injected with double the dose of Paliperidone on the order of psychiatrist Barbara Sinclair. On December 8th last year they injected him with Clopixol after he refused to meet with them. He had told them it was the drug he most feared said Mr. Collins.

Over the last thirteen and a half years, Saeed’s forced medication has been changed nine times. These attacks against Saeed are now being made against his supporters as well.

In a letter dated 28th May 2015, Clinical Director, Dr. Tobias Mackinnon claimed that Saeed’s Primary Carer, Brett Collins acted in a threatening manner and that the ‘duress buttons’ were nearly pushed during a meeting. This would have resulted in a team of ten nurses to be despatched to deal with a potentially violent threat. Dr. Mackinnon threatened to bring the Primary Carer relationship under review, and to exclude our access to Saeed and the forensic hospital said Mr. Collins.

This is an outrageous intimidation. Here is my response and what Dr. Mackinnon and the psychiatrist, Barbara Sinclair said. 

Saeed is now preparing for his 4th Supreme Court appeal with a barrister currently being briefed. The Mental Health Review Tribunal refuses to control the hospital not having given any orders since 2009.  It is clear that the Mental Health Review Tribunal’s refusal to make orders in the best interests of Saeed’s care and treatment suggests a failure to abide by their statutory obligations and an inability to act for the benefit of forensic patients.

I will renounce my Australian citizenship and return to the chaos of Iran in order to escape the torturous hands of these doctors. I met with the Consul-General this week. Feel sick in the stomach waiting for their poison to hit. It is such an abuse, and I need help from outside” (Saeed Dezfouli, 24th June 2015)

Justice Action will steadfastly support Saeed’s right to bodily integrity without interference, and pressure the Forensic Hospital to provide Saeed with consumer worker support and access to a computer – which it continues to neglect more than a year after the Tribunal made those recommendations on March 2014.

Professor Dan Howard, President of the Tribunal said in frustration that sometimes the system needs a kicking. Six months later when nothing had happened.

Hearing Court of Appeal (before Gleeson and McColl JJ)

28/6/2013

~2:20pm

McColl J: This is not a concurrent hearing. If leave is granted, the appeal will be heard before 3 judges

McColl J: Do you seek to rely on your affidavits? This is a technical question

Brett: Yes we want them read by the court

Extension of time:

  • Length & Reason for delay:
    • Evidence in 2/4 affidavit shows negotiations did not cease on 13/12 à the A-G publicly stated the costs order was not going to be enforced
    • 23/1 the CSO replied that they acknowledged the instructions were NOT withdrawn
      • Annexure B to 2/3 affidavit shows the A-G was not going to enforce it à the Court and the CSO were misinformed
  • CSO argues the withdrawal of instructions was not a central issue. Any reading of the Johnson J judgment shows this is not the case.
    • McColl J: CSO says that the judgment (page 30) says that Brett had a chance to respond to the issue but didn’t
      • Brett responds: On Page 1 of the same document, Brett explained why the solicitor was not present. Also, the judgment also shows that the opposing solicitor acknowledged that Brett disagreed with the ‘withdrawal’
    • The withdrawal was the basis for being distinguished from O’grady. O’Grady is supposed to protect tutors/primary carers. Andrew Dikha’s certificate was the only thing that distinguished those two cases.
      • First, there was no evidence about the other two sets of solicitors (when Johnson J speaks of the ‘three’ sets of lawyers on p 29 judgment). Johnson J should have asked for evidence about the other two sets if he wanted to rely on them as well.
      • Second, the opposition acknowledged that Brett disagreed with the ‘withdrawal’ of instructions, but Johnson J did not explain what his decision was à this is an error of law.
        • Authorities (e.g. King v House) explain appellate courts should fix this
        • We attempted to subpoena Dikha & Bodisco but we were not entitled to do so. We asked the CSO to do it instead but they refused
        • O’Grady should protect us from costs order like these. Nash, Dikha and Bodisco all worked with us but they abandoned us. We carried on the case ourselves because we had a merit advice from Turnbull that indicated we had a strong case.

McColl J: You have a few more minutes to go over anything you feel you need to draw our attention to.

Brett:

  • The 25/6 amended argument puts our case into context. It talks about the human rights and international obligations. It gives context about the proven bias of the HMRT, which is why we couldn’t go back à the tribunal said that we never asked for changes but they were proven wrong by the transcript. That bias was before Johson J and it is before this court. The new legislation provides for an appeal for ‘any other reason’, meaning the HMRT is to be supervised by the Supreme Court

~2:45pm

Munro:

  • Intro i.e. case in regards to 26/11/2010 costs order. Notice of intention to appeal was not filed within time à first filed on 30/1/2013.
  • The UCPR gives a right to extend time but all 4 factors (length of delay, reason for delay, fairly arguable case, prejudice suffered by respondent) from Tomko weigh against the appellant
  • #1 Length:
    • Two years 1 month à gross and excessive
  • #2 Explanation:
    • Appellant argues he was:
      • Unrepresented: but ignorance of a right of appeal doesn’t suffice (Barret)
      • Negotiations with A-G: the interview with the Greens is not admissible. Therefore the only evidence provided is the 30/11/2010 offer of compromise.
        • There were no negotiations. Paragraph 3 of Sato affidavit shows there were no compelling reasons for the delay
  • #3 Fairly arguable case:
    • Tomko 65 para 4 per Hodgson J: the case must be more than fairly arguable. There must be a manifest error, a failure to give consideration etc
    • The Johnson J judgment page 30 shows Brett was given the opportunity to deal with any issues. Johnson J found the instructions were withdrawn
    • The withdrawal was not a material consideration anyway
    • On the issue of no evidence raised today: Johnson J does not need to do more than the explanation in para 90 of his judgment
    • On the merit advice: Relying on a legal or merit advice does not displace the usual costs order that costs should follow the event (Latontis at 567).
      • McColl J: The usual order would have justified a costs order against Mr Dezfouli but not Collins. Dezfouli was the party.
      • Munro: There are other factors relied on by the Respondent.
      • McColl J: there is a distinction between a party and a tutor
      • Munro: Johnson J at paras 87-90 states the facts of Re Adams were ‘remote’ (para 89). It is submitted Johnson J didn’t fail to consider the public interest.
      • McColl J: It is not apparent that Johnson J deals with the public interest in the way Collins says.
      • Munro: There is implied acknowledgement. I accept it is not expressly acknowledged.
  • #4 Prejudice:
    • Actual prejudice suffered by Respondent
    • The UCPR fix time to give certainty to the party
    • Respondent took steps to enforce costs order (assessment, court attendance, notice of motion etc) à $16K
    • Appellant should not be given more time
    • $32k [sic à not sure what this was in relation to]
    • UCPR 101(2)(r) requires leave for appealing quantum of damages also
      • The appellant must show an error of principle, manifest error etc. Johnson J made no such error
  • On the distinction between a tutor and a party: The respondent relies on ‘the principle’ from  [this was difficult to hear, but she said something about s 98; Johnson J judgment and  Rockham)
    • McColl: Presumably Johnson J relies on s 98 for the costs order. Is there a rule about tutor costs orders?
    • Munro: Johnson J refers to UCPR 42.1
    • McColl: Yes but is there an express rule somewhere about tutor cost orders?
    • Munro: The Respondent accepts there is no express permission in the legislation or cases
    • McColl: I think you will find there is an abundance of case law on the matter
    • Munro: I accept that but no rule in the legislation

~3:02pm

Brett:

  • Regarding Respondent’s argument that there was no justification for the length of delay. Annexure D [sic, corrected to be Annexure E] of 6/6 affidavit shows a public statement from the A-G
    • McColl: It is Shoebrdige who makes that statement
    • Brett: There is public acknowledgement that the costs order is being considered
  • 2/4 Annexure B: shows ongoing negotiations regarding the withdrawl of the order. We approached the CSO at that point à shows ongoing negotiations. We came with open hands

McColl: Court will reserve its decision

x/y = day/month. This is how the documents lodged with the court were referred to in the hearing. It wasn’t always clear exactly what document was being referred to other than by reference to the date it was lodged (i.e. whether it was the summons, an affidavit etc)

CSO = Crown Solicitor’s Office

"Make Orders!" says Saeed

“Make Orders!” says Saeed.

Saeed Dezfouli is locked in a mental health system with no oversight. The Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) refuses to defend the people whom it is designed to protect. It is less than a rubber stamp. It says its "practice is not to make orders". That means the psychiatrists can do whatever they want, present Treatment Plans to the Tribunal at Reviews and then change them without any discussion or justification. Out of control but with the appearance of professional respect.

Recommendations made by the President of the Tribunal Dan Howard in March 2014 for Saeed to have a computer and consumer worker support "as soon as practicable" have been ignored. During the September 2014 Review Howard said: "sometimes the system needs a kicking" and still he was ignored. Contempt for him as he deserves! But Saeed gets the kicking.

Introduction

The Mental Health Review Tribunal is a dysfunctional and corrupt organisation and a waste of the taxpayer’s money. This disgraceful Tribunal hides behind the NSW Mental Health Department. Make orders as you are required!” 
– Saeed Dezfouli (9 March 2015)

As outlined in the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act s 40 (a-c), the MHRT exists to “adopt the perspective of the protected person and his or her best interests” with primary regard to the protection of the individual and the community. In addition to this, Lindsay J noted that the MHRT possesses the “implied authority to uphold, protect and fulfil the functions conferred on it by statute”: Harry v Mental Health Review Tribunal (1994) 33 NSWLR 315.

Hence, the MHRT wields a clear degree of responsibility and influence as a body that guides the treatment, care and control of a forensic patient. Whether or not the MHRT is able to adequately fulfil its protective obligations is another question altogether.
Of pressing concern is the limited employment of binding orders, which are necessary to enforce the recommendations provided by the MHRT. Such a lack of legal enforcement has the alarming potential to result in abrupt changes of treatment running contrary to the recommendations given. This has been the case in the most recent update on Saaed Dezfouli, who on the 8th of December, 2014, was forcibly injected with medication for which he had a known sensitivity to, that had been changed without consultation or clinical justification. 

Tribunal fails to interfere

The Mental Health Review Tribunal sat on the 26th March 2015 in light of the change in Saeed Dezfouli’s medication, from paliperidone to forcibly injecting clopixol.

The Tribunal asserted it would not intervene in the actions and decisions of the psychiatrist and the treating team, rationalised on the grounds of the overwhelming number of cases that could be presented before the Tribunal if every medication change required their authorisation. The scope of the Tribunal’s intervention to review and authorise clinical practices could be limited, as suggested by solicitor Peter O’Brien, to where changes in medication involves forcefully medicating without consent. The Tribunal asserts it is not its practice to intervene.

Despite refusing to intervene, the Tribunal inquired into the reasonableness of the treatment. This issue was superficially dealt with as the psychiatrist merely informed the court that such a change in medication would have been administered by other psychiatrists in the reasonable course of clinical action.  The psychiatrist also stated that there was no “peer reviewed evidence” of the negative side effects of clopixol. The Tribunal President believed the drug had not been prescribed to Saeed for a long enough period to observe the effectiveness.

In 2014 the Tribunal made an order to provide Saeed with access to a consumer worker and a computer. At the 26th March 2015 hearing the Tribunal clarified that they were mere recommendations and still stand. When questioned on why a consumer worker was not yet allocated to Saeed, despite the recommendation being a made a year ago, slow processing was blamed. The psychiatrist also stated there were objections to providing Saeed with an advocate by the NSW Consumer Advocacy Group. Brett Collins clarified that a consumer worker was sought from NSW Health, not an advocate.

Saeed’s attack

Only four days prior to the assault on Saeed, Justice Action, on Saeed’s behalf, had sent an email to the hospital administrators stating that they had “run out of patience” due to Justice Health’s disregard of the MHRT’s recommendations for Saeed’s access to a computer and a consumer worker. The email read:

“Your treatment of him is clearly unfair and wrong. It is clear that you don’t respect the Mental Health Review Tribunal, Saeed or me. We demand the answers to which we are entitled, to the questions presented carefully underneath.”

“It is Saeed’s fifty sixth birthday today. We are pleased not to listen to your false excuses for further disrespect.”

Saeed was attacked on Monday the 8th of December 2014 at 2:15pm. Memory (a nurse) informed Saeed that the psychiatrist, Dr Barbara Sinclair, wished to talk with him for a minute. Saeed said that he did not wish to talk unless Brett Collins (his primary carer) was present. At 3:15pm, nine nurses approached Saeed and stated that they wanted him to go to the treatment room.

It was expected that Saeed would accompany the nurses to receive his first dosage of the changed prescription from paliperidone to 200mg of Clopixol, to be administered fortnightly. Saeed refused because of problems that Clopixol had caused him between May 2009 and May 2012; he had been on a 150mg dose but had been taken off the drug for the past two and a half years due to negative side effects.

Upon refusing to enter the treatment room, Saeed was dragged to his own room instead. His face was pushed down onto the floor and someone sat on him to hold him down, resulting in Saeed feeling as though he “couldn’t breathe”. His protests and screaming went ignored, and his pants were forcibly removed so he could be injected in the buttocks. At 3:45pm the same day, Saeed phoned Brett about the assault: “Brett, I am shocked; they just attacked me.”

Court costs.

The Crown Solicitor’s office sent a letter to Justice Action on the 2nd of March 2015 informing them that two cost orders previously issued against Brett Collins, coordinator of Justice Action and Saeed’s primary carer, had been waived. These government legal costs totalling $60,000 were the result of the first appeal in 2010.

This was a huge relief for Justice Action, which had dedicated years of work towards the case for Saeed and hopes to improve the position of those subject to forced medication by ensuring that there is a proper review authority. We intend to hold the MHRT responsible for its functions as set out in the Mental Health Act 2007 and the common law. An action brought about by Justice Action (A vs Mental Health Review Tribunal [2014] NSWSC 31) and two prior supreme court cases all established that the MHRT has the responsibility to look out for a patients’ best interests lies.

The nature of the MHRT’s obligations

The Tribunal delivers official reviews, determinations, provides reasons for decisions concerning mental health patients and is presented with agreed management plans. According to common law and the Mental Health Act 2007 (NSW), all of these functions must be performed in while keeping in mind the best interests of the patient.

The most current order for Saeed was made on the 27th of August 2009, which authorised his detention at the Forensic Hospital at Long Bay for care and treatment. This order has not changed since it was issued. It is the Tribunal’s practice to not issue fresh orders following a hearing unless a decision has been reached to change the order.

On the 31st of October 2014, Saeed’s bi-annual report was released. While not legally binding, this included summaries of responses to proposed treatment plans. Within the section titled ‘Reasons for Decision’, Tribunal President Howard SC made it clear in his conclusion that treatment with “the paliperidone (not clopixol) will continue.”

Unfortunately, when no authoritative direction is given by the MHRT, the hospital is not bound to follow the recommendations provided. To not issue orders runs counter to the MHRT’s agreement with Justice Action on the 20th of January 2014. This inaction from the Tribunal, and consequent lack of binding order resulted in leaving the treating team unrestricted from making an abrupt change in treatment plan if they “believe such a change is clinically appropriate” – even despite knowing Saaed’s sensitivity to the changed medication, clopixol.

In the aforementioned agreement, the Tribunal said it would abide by the recovery principles that seek to promote ‘self-management’ and ‘self-determination’. Additionally, the agreed statement said that ‘choice is one of the key features of the legislation [Mental Health Act] [to] ...facilitate the involvement of affected persons in decisions involving care, treatment and control.’ By disregarding the obligations in the provisions of the Mental Health Acts, the Tribunal may be contravening the United Nations’ Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and the Improvement of Mental Health Care, as well as the Commonwealth government’s National Mental Health Service Standards.

Government policy

Saeed’s case is an opportunity to expose the alarming disconnect between MHRT’s recommendations and primary purpose, and the actual enforcement and results of the treatment provided to its forensic patients. It is the belief of the NSW government that forced medication is only administered when authorised by the MHRT. This has clearly not been the case. It has only become more evident that the role of the Tribunal must be clarified and its recommendations must be enforced.

Justice Action held a Pre-Election Forum on the 17th of February 2015. In the Forum, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Brad Hazzard stated,  “where medication is prescribed by professional clinicians and authorised by the Mental Health Review Tribunal, Justice Health reserves the right to enforce medication.”

That statement was in response to the question: “Will you commit to supporting and reinforcing the principles of recovery and consultation with mental health consumers including the right to refuse medication, in order to foster more therapeutic treatment for prisoners suffering with a mental health disorder?” The full response can be found at http://www.communityjusticecoalition.org/archive/2015-party-responses-to-questionnaire

Conclusion

Through the examination of relevant mental health legislation, Lindsay J’s judgement in A v Mental Health Review Tribunal and the Tribunal’s express reasoning for changing Saeed’s treatment to Paliperidone, it is evident that there has been a breach of duty by Dr Sinclair and her medical team.

Furthermore, the Tribunal has not complied with its role to work “within the framework of a protective concern for the benefit and best interests of each forensic patient as an individual”. On the 13th of January 2015, the Tribunal denied any responsibility in ensuring that Dr Sinclair complies with its directives. Saeed’s case was directly addressed with the statement: “[Saeed’s] Paliperidone depot will continue and side effects will be monitored and the dose will be titrated appropriately.” Their unwillingness to intervene on the 26th March is further disappointing evidence of  the Tribunal’s self-imposed impotency.

If Dr Sinclair wished to deviate from the Tribunal’s decision, she should have applied to change Saeed’s treatment plan at the next Tribunal Review. The Tribunal has both the authority and obligation to intervene in Saeed’s case following such a blatant disregard for both Saeed’s rights and the October 2014 Tribunal Determination.

The MHRT’s failure to intervene constitutes a blatant disregard for Saeed’s rights. Justice Action has asked the MHRT to exercise their power and hold Saeed’s doctors accountable for their actions. In response, they have claimed that they did not have authority to make orders relating to Saeed’s medication. Justice Action believes that these actions do not satisfy the MHRT’s supervisory obligations. We have been working tirelessly to make the MHRT properly define their role and effectively exercise their jurisdiction to hold Justice Health doctors accountable. The MHRT’s complete lack of action is in contradiction with their clearly stated objectives.

Visit To Saeed - full article

Cheerful banter with the on-duty nurse of the Dee Why Ward at the Forensic Hospital provided a stark contrast to what life behind the twenty-foot high concrete walls must be like. For many forensic patients, including Saeed Dezfouli, there is no indication of when they will be released, having had an indefinite sentence imposed. For Saeed and all the forensic patients, this isolation and disjunct from the outside world is a day-to-day living reality. 

 

On 12 September 2014, we (Damian, Danielle, and Melissa), as workers from Justice Action, visited Saeed at the Forensic Hospital. Visitations as friends of the patient was previously not permitted. As a forensic patient, being able to have visits from friends is a fundamental right and is also important for their overall wellbeing. Despite this, it was not seen as a right until 2011, when Justice Action was finally granted access for the first time to visit Saeed as friends, after extensive campaigning for almost two and a half years. This is an example of the heavy-handed institutionalisation of forensic patients. 

 

Our visit to see Saeed at the Hospital proved to be quite a challenging task, filled with a myriad of stringent security checks and having to enter through a series of locked metal-detector doors. From the moment of arrival, our impression of the Hospital was that it was clean, sparse, and extremely clinical. Our first point of contact was the security staff, who was seated in an enclosed office with a glass-panelled window. For the first half hour of our arrival, we were denied access to see Saeed, as apparently we were not ‘on the list’ according to the computer database. This was despite the fact that our visit had already been arranged with the Hospital the day before. Ultimately, due to a misunderstanding on their part, we were finally granted access to see Saeed. 

 

However, this marked only the beginning of a series of rigorous security checks, including biometric scanning, that we had to undergo. The first step was to inspect our identification. After being ID’d, we were given keys to a locker space, whereby all our paraphernalia had to be kept inside. Scarves were also not permitted. The second step involved scanning our fingerprints and taking retina scans. This was done several times. Even after being permitted access to the check-in room where we passed through the metal detectors, we were again asked to scan our fingerprints. Next, we passed through a second solid steel door, after it was electronically unlocked, and we sat for a few minutes in an almost empty room waiting for someone to escort us to the Dee Why Ward. Eventually, two nurses arrived and guided us to the complex where Saeed currently resides.

 

During our short walk to the complex, we saw that there were ovals and open spaces for exercising. However, we soon found out that patients are not allowed use these spaces for exercising, jogging, or playing any sporting activities. Along our walk, we also saw 20-feet high security walls, mauesoleums, and concrete buildings. All of these added to a feeling of being institutionalised. 

 

Once inside the complex, we were struck by how bureaucratic and clinical everything was. There were forensic patients who passed by us. They seemed somewhat subdued, which is the effect of being heavily medicated. The nurses were garbed in blue and were guiding the patients along. We later learned that there is actually minimal interaction between patients and nurses. Finally, we were led to a room where we were to meet Saeed and talk with him for an hour. 

 

Saeed proved to be different from what is expected of a patient living under maximum security who has been diagnosed with “paranoid schizophrenia”. He had an open and warm demeanour during the meeting. He was polite, poised, and articulate in sharing his views. He was very well informed of the current law and offered helpful critique of hospital life. Saeed discussed his belief that there is a lack of responsive programs in the hospital that would have long term benefits for patients. In the discussion, he detailed his daily life, saying that for each day, there is only one group activity offered. This group activity comprised of listening to other patients share a news article. He feels that such a program is highly ineffective as people don’t actively interact with each other, and that labelling it as a ‘program’ is purely a “game of deception”. 

 

As part of such a “game of deception”, Saeed has developed a distrust of the nurses and the system as a whole. According to Saeed, although the hospital is relatively safer than prisons, the difficulty he has in convincing those outside of the need for improvements leave patients at risk of having their dignity compromised. He feels that by openly speaking out about this, he may receive backlash. However, this does not detract from the need to reform the system to reflect the current societal standards of rights. 

 

A way to reform the system is to provide access to computers for forensic patients. On one level, it would allow patients, including Saeed, to use their time productively, instead of sitting idly. On another level, patients will feel less isolated from the real world. With these computers, they’re able to access their rights and stay informed of current affairs. Being able to maximise their time in such a way through computer access will mean forensic patients feel less detached from reality. When we raised this up with Saeed, we could see that it is something that he is looking forward to. 

 

It is evident from our visit to Saeed the kinds of institutionalisation methods which are being employed. These include heavy-handed security checks for visitors, lack of access to computers for patients, poorly-implemented social treatment programs, and inefficient use of resources (such as the ovals) that would improve their physical and mental wellbeing. From the visit, we, as part of Justice Action, have seen how crucial it is that there be reform to help and support forensic patients, and more effective use of resources that would cater for the needs of different patients. 

Visit To Saeed

On 12 September 2014, three workers from Justice Action visited Saeed Dezfouli at the Forensic Hospital in Long Bay. The following is a report on the experience of the visit. After meeting and talking with Saeed, it gave Justice Action some insight into what day-to-day life is like inside the Forensic Hospital for these patients. Read full article here.

Latest Saeed Hearing

On 4 September 2014 the Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) convened for Saeed Dezfouli. The hearing followed a series of meetings with the hospital that were held to address why key recommendations from the last MHRT hearing had not been implemented. Justice Health’s conduct during those negotiations demonstrated an absolute unwillingness to be held accountable for their actions and a cavalier approach to the implementation of MHRT recommendations. The Lindsay judgment giving power to the Tribunal had been ignored by the hospital. Here is our Media Release.

Read more

 

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