The following statement in reply to the Report on "Mental health and human rights" by the OHCHR was unanimously adopted at the IAAPA General Assembly on 29th May 2018.
On 31.1.2017 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights publicized a report on "Mental health and human rights", Document A/HRC/34/32. (on this website please click on the "E" in the "Documents" column for the PDF version in English) Thus, the most important institution for human rights has clearly taken position on the issue and elegantly circumvented the difficulties that a false "right to health" logically brings with it. We have copied the most important passages, commenting on them as follows. The OHCHR begins with the "right to health". It would constitute the framework for their further statements. We would immediately like to point out that it is nonsense or a scam with words, because the statements cannot be taken literally. Health is described in accordance with the constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Explaining this condition as a right to entitlement means:
Every disease, and as a consequence thereof, even death - even if it is caused by an accident - is not only pain and suffering, it is conceived as a violation of a right. Thus a claim is formulated which can never be fulfilled, a fundamentally unfulfillable right. In the promise of eternal life in the Kingdom of God, it shall be fulfilled, but neither the Messiah has come yet, nor is there a living being who is actually immortal. To proclaim a right to health is the conscious narrative of a fairy tale, a fiction. To take this seriously and to stand by it against better knowledge is therefore an ideologically justified scam.
A dangerous scam because the consequences of this false promise are then: a) becoming ill is a breach of law, so health tends to become a duty. b) the state, as guarantor of rights, is granted a position of power with comprehensive enforcement possibilities against the disturbers of the health claim - in the Nazi public health dictatorship this was taken to the extreme. The incurably or chronically ill immediately risk being deprived of their dignity as humans since they contradict the fantasy of a right to health. c) this fraudulent demand is exacerbated by the fact that health is even defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Thus, every ailment, every slight upset is understood to be non-health, so a disease with a right to elimination. Thus, the basis for the doctors as masters of society, if not the world, is laid - and is executed in the exercise of power in psychiatry. Allen Frances and the other critics of DSM 5 are wrong; of course in such a definition of the WHO, for example, every mourning is a violation of the right to a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, as was the case with the mourned dead person anyway.
So we can sum up: The right to health is the last of the great utopias of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that have turned out to be a dystopia, a phantasm, better a fiction, a secular realization of God's realm on earth, in the here and now, or at least in the near future. It is a false promise, an ideology to establish domination and oppression, in particular a standardisation by the medical professionals who serve the promise of salvation in a secular religion. Instead, we call for a right to illness (it will be demagogic to misinterpret it as a duty to illness). How did the OHCHR avoid the danger of this ideologically based scam?:
By trying to read into the right to health what it actually means, thus simply reinterpreting what it says: "It is an inclusive right encompassing both timely and appropriate health care and the underlying determinants of health... ..The core obligations applicable to the right to health include ensuring the right of access to health facilities, goods and services on a non-discriminatory basis, especially for vulnerable or marginalized groups; ensuring access to adequate food and nutrition; ensuring access to basic shelter, housing and sanitation; providing access to essential drugs; ensuring an equitable distribution of all health facilities, goods and services; and adopting and implementing a national public health strategy and plan of action which address the health concerns of the whole population.." The right to health is therefore a right to a state of the art medical assistance. That is something completely different.
But only with the following statement is the right to health not only deprived of its poisonous content, but also it points to the black spot which is like a complete taboo, quote: The right to health contains freedoms (such as the freedom to control one’s health and body and the right to be free from interference, torture and non-consensual medical treatment) and entitlements (such as the right to a health system that provides equality of opportunity for people to enjoy the highest attainable level of health).7 While, in recognition of resource constraints, the right to health is subject to progressive realization, the freedom element in the right to health is subject to neither progressive realization nor resource availability.8 Freedom is almost non-existent when you land up in a hospital. With the help of psychiatric consultation one can practically always be judged by psychiatric diagnonsense. On the demand of a doctor the court may then implement a guardian.
With these two interpretive tricks by the OHCHR, neither the dogma of a right to health must be abandoned, nor a disastrous hierarchisation of human rights has to be accepted. Instead, the medical-psychiatric hegemony must be broken to be able to judge the state of mind of other people in order to justify coercion and violence. Eventually it means: Insane? Your own choice!
This is reflected in the report of the OHCHR, part of which please see below.
Meanwhile, also the three UN Special Rapporteurs
on torture etc., Mr. Juan Mendez,
on the right to health, Mr. Dainius Pūras,
and the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar,
have basically repeated what the OHCHR said. States must now be forced to finally respect human rights in this particularly sensitive area and not just give them lip-service -------------------------------------------- Citations of the report of the OHCHR from 31/1/2017, Document A/HRC/34/32:
3. Lack of free and informed consent 17. As noted by the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, informed consent is not mere acceptance of a medical intervention, but a voluntary and sufficiently informed decision, protecting the right of the patient to be involved in medical decision-making and assigning associated duties and obligations to health-care providers.25 In order for consent to be valid, it should be given voluntarily and on the basis of complete information on the nature, consequences, benefits and risks of the treatment, on any harm associated with it and on the availability of alternatives.26Involuntary treatment refers to the administration of medical or therapeutic procedures without the consent of the individual. Treatment administered, for example, on the basis of misrepresentation would constitute involuntary treatment, as would treatment given under threat, without full information or on dubious medical grounds.27 Guaranteeing informed consent is a fundamental feature of respecting an individual’s autonomy, self-determination and human dignity.28
23. The human rights-based approach to disability, in addition to other principles, requires the unconditional application of the principle of non-discrimination with regard to persons with disabilities. No additional qualifiers associated with an impairment may justify the restriction of human rights. For example, persons with psychosocial disabilities should not be arbitrarily deprived of their liberty on the basis of their impairment including in conjunction with an alleged danger to themselves or to others.33 Mental health policy should adopt and integrate this approach and guard against lowering standards. 28. In certain situations, the will of the person concerned might be difficult to determine. Instruments such as advance directives or powers of attorney should be promoted and clearly formulated to prevent misunderstanding or arbitrariness by those executing them. Even when such instruments are in force, persons with psychosocial disabilities must always retain their right to modify their will and service providers should continue to seek their informed consent. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has held that, in all cases, it should be understood that article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities prohibits resorting to the principle of the “best interests” of the individual in relation to adults with disabilities.37 Significant efforts must be made to determine the individual’s will and preferences, ensuring that all possible accommodations, supports and diverse methods of communication are made available and accessible. Where all means have been exhausted and the individual’s will remains undetermined, the principle of “the best interpretation of will and preferences of the individual” must be upheld and carried out in good faith.38
The absolute ban on deprivation of liberty on the basis of impairments 29. Article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities establishes an absolute ban on deprivation of liberty on the basis of impairments, which precludes nonconsensual commitment and treatment.39 This provision reflects the non-discriminatory approach guaranteed by the Convention in connection with the right to liberty and security of person. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has clearly and consistently confirmed the non-discriminatory approach to the right to liberty, which establishes the unambiguous prohibition on deprivation of liberty on the basis of impairments, whether or not it is connected with other factors.
30. Persons with psychosocial disabilities continue to be subjected to forced institutionalization, as allowed by civil codes and mental health laws in many countries. Deprived of their liberty, they are commonly subjected to forced treatment, and living conditions and arrangements may also put their physical and mental integrity at risk. Children or adults detained in institutions are at increased risk of violence and abuse, including sexual exploitation and trafficking.40 The Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment has found that children in residential or institutional care are at greater risk of mental health trauma, violence and abuse, and that the severe emotional pain and suffering caused by segregation may rise to the level of illtreatment or torture.41 Outside of institutions, the use of community treatment orders or mandatory outpatient treatment, even if enforced in the community, violates the right to liberty and security of the person as such measures impose treatment and the threat of detention if refused.
31. Forced institutionalization violates the right to personal liberty and security, understood as freedom from confinement of the body and freedom from injury to one’s bodily or mental integrity, respectively.42 It amounts to a violation of the right to live free from torture and ill-treatment,43 and from exploitation, violence and abuse, and of the right to personal integrity. States parties should repeal legislation and policies that allow or perpetuate involuntary commitment, including its imposition as a threat, and should provide effective remedies and redress for victims.44
32. Criminal law and procedures commonly deny due process of law to persons with disabilities considered unfit to stand trial and/or incapable of criminal responsibility, leading to deprivation of liberty on the basis of impairment, including through the diversion of persons with psychosocial disabilities into the custody of forensic institutions. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has consistently considered that this denies fair trial rights, amounts to arbitrary detention and often leads to harsher consequences than criminal sanctions, such as indefinite detention in mental health facilities.
Forced treatment: forced medication, overmedication and harmful practices during deprivation of liberty 33. Many practices within mental health institutions also contravene articles 15, 16 and 17 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Forced treatment and other harmful practices, such as solitary confinement, forced sterilization, the use of restraints, forced medication and overmedication (including medication administered under false pretences and without disclosure of risks) not only violate the right to free and informed consent, but constitute ill-treatment and may amount to torture.45 Accordingly, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has called for the abolition of all involuntary treatment and the adoption of measures to ensure that health services, including all mental health services, are based on the free and informed consent of the person concerned.46 The Committee has also urged the elimination of the use of seclusion and restraints, both physical and pharmacological.47
42......In all cases, laws and regulations should be compliant with articles 5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 25 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, among other provisions, and should: (a) prohibit the arbitrary deprivation of liberty on the basis of impairment, irrespective of any purported justification based on the need to provide “care” or on account of “posing a danger to him or herself or to others”; (b) ensure the individual’s right to free and informed consent in all cases for all treatment and decisions related to health care, including the availability and accessibility of diverse modes and means of communication, information and support to exercise this right;.... -----------------------------------------------
These clear statements by the OHCHR has led to the UN Human Rights Council unanimously adopting resolution 36/13 on the 28.9.2017 in its 39th meeting, document A/HRC/RES/36/13. (on this website please click on the "E" in the "Documents" column for the PDF version in English) Read the following statements in excerpts:
Recalling that, according to the Constitution of the World Health Organization, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,
5. Urges States to take active steps to fully integrate a human rights perspective into mental health and community services, and to adopt, implement, update, strengthen or monitor, as appropriate, all existing laws, policies and practices with a view to eliminating all forms of discrimination, stigma, prejudice, violence, abuse, social exclusion and segregation within that context, and to promote the right of persons with mental health conditions or psychosocial disabilities to full inclusion and effective participation in society, on an equal basis with others;
8. Calls upon States to abandon all practices that fail to respect the rights, will and preferences of all persons, on an equal basis, and that lead to power imbalances, stigma and discrimination in mental health settings;