Sunday, September 04, 2011
Coroners Court files reveal violent deaths in Australian mental health facilities.
The Age, a popular Australian newspaper, yesterday highlighted the suppression behind Victorian mental health facilities, Victoria being the state of Australia, although more than likely the age of the facilities there too.
Data obtained by The Age revealed that 119 of the 502 coronial inquests held in Victoria between 2008 and 2010 involved people with diagnosed mental illnesses. Of those 119 mental health coronial cases, almost a third related to the deaths of patients while they were being treated at state-run and private mental health facilities, writes The Age, adding, that "36 people died unexpected, unnatural or violent deaths in Victorian mental health facilities between 2008 and 2010."
The newspaper has published an investigation into the deaths of three men who died in state-run psychiatric wards across Melbourne between 2007 and 2009: Adam White, 31, Anthony Travaglini, 40, and Jeffery Hartwig, 43.
Southern Health, the health service responsible for the care of Mr Hartwig and Mr White, tried to stop The Age from reporting. A suppression order was made but, it appears The Age have, rightly so, ran with the article.
■ Mr Travaglini, who died in September 2008 at Eastern Health's Upton House psychiatric hospital in Box Hill, was killed by a combination of powerful anti-psychotic medications given to him by staff, according to a Victorian government pathologist. Staff and patients aware of the circumstances of his death say the 40-year-old was pleading not to be given more drugs on the night he died. Staff and patients also allege there was an attempt to conceal information about the circumstances of his death from his family.
■ Mr Hartwig died at the Monash Medical Centre in December 2009 after he went into a coma following a suspected overdose of illicit drugs supplied by unknown visitors. His family says the hospital's psychiatric ward kept no visitor log nor did it supervise visits to patients. Police sources say the hospital's legal department interfered with their investigation and ordered staff not to speak about the circumstances of Mr Hartwig's death.
■ Mr White's 2007 death at Dandenong Hospital's psychiatric ward during a struggle with security guards was the subject of a recent inquest. A finding has yet to be made, but evidence to the inquest suggests Mr White was asphyxiated while being held face down by security staff. A witness told the inquest that Mr White apparently yelled ''I give up'', but security did not ease off. He died soon after.
In what appears to be a feeble excuse, Victoria's chief psychiatrist, Ruth Vine claims, "..it is difficult to manage fairly large, fairly aggressive men and I think it is the case in some of these [deaths] that there was a degree of physical unwellness underlying.''
No shit doc! You ever asked yourself why they are "fairly large" and have "a degree of physical unwellness underlying?"
Medication, such as those used in psychiatric facilities, have been known to cause weight gain and psychotic episodes.
I applaud The Age for it's two-fingered salute to Southern Health and for highlighting the abhorrent abuse of human life.
Full article, by Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie can be read HERE
ORDER THE PAPERBACK 'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman US and CANADA HERE OR UK FROM CHIPMUNKA PUBLISHING
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About the Author :
Bob Fiddaman has been writing about the dangers of antidepressants since 2006. In 2011 he was presented with two human rights awards from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
Labels: Abuse, Australia, HUMAN RIGHTS, Melbourne, Mental Health, Psychiatric drugs, Psychiatry, Southern Health, Suicide, Victoria, Weight gain