The right to a name is basic to being human, being of worth and having a place in society. Without a name you have no unique reference point for others to relate to. However in the mental health area this right is conditional on the permission of the Health authorities, as an expression of their concern for the reputation of the consumer. In practice it only protects the Health authorities from criticism with secrecy and no media examination of Tribunal hearings. This is a touchpoint showing the lack of respect in mental health. Justice Action took this issue to the Supreme Court for Saeed Dezfouli, and finally won in a Tribunal hearing involving ABC lawyers.
Here is the original submission in his case, with an examination of the laws.
We have had to remove some of the details here under the threats of the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal, but will supply more on request.
Justice Action Publications:
Mad in Australia: This publication exposes the history of abuse of mental health patients in historical and cultural context. It identifies how the culture of doctors forcing medication on mental health patients began, in breach of their ethical obligations, and against the evidence of its effectiveness. It also offers solutions.
The Our Pick Report: This report written by Justice Action concerning the state of mental health in Australia. Justice Action decided to focus on the mental health area after it had become apparent that a new strategy was required to defend community interest and prisoners' rights against the law and the added effects of tension, boredom, powerlessness and isolation occuring in imprisonment. Many prisoners become forensic patients or remain in prison under medication: the rates of major mental illness in prisons have been found to be three times higher tha that of the general population. This report confront the abuse of 'care' in mental health and prisons.
Mental illness policy issues: There are serious failings in the way that public policy addresses mental illness in our society. The most serious failings as well as other inherent issues within mental health have been identified that is broadly reflected in Mental Illness Policy Issues. The single greatest cause of distress and difficulty; to the greatest proportion of those living with mental illness, is the way our society responds to them.
Letter by Saeed to Justice Action (08/09/2010)
Challenge to Tribunal's Ban on Saeed's Name