Patient damaged after forced medication

Media Release 29 October 2015

“As Mental Health Month ends, Saeed Dezfouli comes before the Mental Health Review Tribunal today with detailed evidence of the harm caused by the anti-psychotic drugs forced on him. His lawyer Peter O’Brien will ask the Tribunal to stop it. His case shows the fundamental disrespect we have for those we describe as mentally ill” said his primary carer, Justice Action Coordinator Brett Collins.

“He now suffers diabetes mellitus, Ischemic heart disease, coronary heart disease, and weight gain. These incontrovertible effects are labelled as risks. Independent psychiatrists have confirmed that Saeed possesses a genetic inability to properly metabolise the anti-psychotic mediations. This makes the ongoing forced administration of such drugs even more reprehensible. Last week a friend visiting Saeed commented ‘I found it incredibly alarming to see such a physical deterioration from a fit and healthy man’” said Mr Collins.

Saeed Dezfouli is a forensic patient who has been in detention since 19 January 2002. Over the past 13 and a half years, Saeed has been continuously forcibly medicated with nine changes in the injections. He challenged his treatment in the Supreme Court in 2010 and 2013, and later successfully won the right to use his own name” said Mr Collins.

“An alternative treatment plan using social support has been rejected by the Forensic Hospital. Recommendations by the Tribunal in March 2014 for a consumer worker to assist his recovery, and access to a computer for his education ‘as soon as practicable’ have had not effect. His psychiatrist Dr Yola Lucire and former Chair of the Consumer Worker Committee Douglas Holmes will be giving evidence today. Rhetoric about consumer-centred care in mental health is really systemic abuse costing over $200,000 a year for each person like Saeed” said Mr Collins.

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