Holyrood 'legislated to permit human rights abuses in mental health hospitals'


A petitioner told MSPs the "Scottish Parliament legislated to permit human rights abuses in mental health hospitals".

W. Hunter Watson was giving evidence on PE1494 mental health legislation alongside Fiona Sinclair from Autism Rights to the Public Petitions Committee on 10 December 2013.

The petition calls for the amendment of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 to ensure that it is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Mr Watson said Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) should only be used with the informed consent of the patient as recommended by the World Health Organisation and called for an end of involuntary ECT in Scotland.

The WHO Resource Book on Mental Health, Human Rights and Legislation states that ECT should be administered only after obtaining informed consent.

Fiona Sinclair from Autism Rights said the mental health system in Scotland was too focussed on drugs and occasionally ECT.

Ms Sinclair also highlighted "serious problems" with mental health tribunals.

The committee agreed to continue the petition.

MSPs then considered current petitions on St Margaret of Scotland Hospice; access to insulin pump therapy; improvement of services and resources to tackle chronic pain; wind turbine applications; a gender neutral Human Papillomavirus vaccination and on primary one class sizes and sibling placing requests.