Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Taser the Mentally Ill - are we Barbarians now ?

Mentally-ill patients 'Tasered' 52 times

I find it incredible that police have used Taser stun guns to subdue mentally-ill patients in hospitals and care homes more that 50 times in the past three years.The Care Quality Commission (CQC), the health service watchdog, has said that Tasers should be deployd only as a last resort in psychiatric wards. However, replies received under the Freedom of Information Act show that English and Welsh police forces authorised Taser use against people in psychiatric care on 52 occasions since 2010.

Whatever happened to the Restraint and Tranquilisation Policy that governs the handling and care of difficult patients ?  How has this been allowed to happen - have psychiatric resourses become so depleted that we go straight to such a barbaric means of last resort instead of following the advise of th Royal College of Psychiatrists ???

Who is making the decision inside the wards ?  Is it psychiatrists, qualified nurses,or merely auxiliaries who are allowed to make such decisions ?  Are relatives consulted before such drastic action is decided upon ?

Does anyone care about the subsequent psycholgical or detrimental effect to the patients who are subjected to 50,000 volts ?  It is a fact that anti-psychotics weaken the heart, making a fatal heart attack a serious possibility.  Do we really care so little about the mentally ill that we don't care if we kill a few ?  And what is our government and NHS doing about this ?  For me, 'nothing' is the obvious answer.  Standards of care have dropped dramatically over recent years and the mentally ill - being at the bottom of the ladder of consideration - are suffering the most.   R. W.

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