The NSW Supreme Court accepted NSW Health’s admission that it was wrong to forcibly inject 74 year old Kerry O’Malley in a hearing on Monday July 13. The Court ordered that NSW Health pay her costs. Her lawyers Stephen Lawrence, Mark Higgins and Greg Schumer of Ross Hill Solicitors represented her pro-bono.
Kerry O’Malley had an injection scheduled later that day. She said after the hearing: ‘I am now going to the beach to enjoy nature, and feel the relief of not having to fear them. Now they should leave me alone.’ She recorded a five minute interview on YouTube.
This is an massive personal victory for Kerry O’Malley. The injection caused severe mental and physical side effects such as increased anxiety, a lack of motivation, poor concentration, weight gain and loss of hair. The Health Dept accused her of wandering aimlessly on two occasions, and said she was a threat to herself as she was mentally ill.
The Health Dept’s lawyers told the Supreme Court that the Community Treatment Order that permitted the injection was invalid, and should be quashed since it was incorrectly authorised. However the lawyers said that they intended to make an application for a new order.
Access to Ms. O’Malley’s medical files was previously blocked by NSW Health. Her lawyers filed a subpoena to produce the files to the Court, but that has been avoided by this total capitulation.
The Consent Order to end the challenge will also include argument to have Kerry O’Malley’s name replaced onto the formal court proceedings. Her name had been reduced to the initials ‘KO’, stripping Ms O’Malley of her identity, supposedly to protect her privacy. She had explicitly gained consent under s.162 of the Mental Health Act in 2017 to use her name and proudly face the Health Dept as a real person. Her ‘treatment’ is shared with 5,000 anonymous people in NSW. The Duty Judge will consider this on Thursday 16th.