Monday, 12 October 2015

'Revised Code of Practice for the 2003 Act': W Hunter Watson; October 2015

Hunter Watson
Here is a Paper received yesterday, written by Scottish mental health and human rights activist Hunter Watson, Aberdeen, sent to Colin McKay, Chief Executive at Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, copied in to various Members of the Scottish Parliament and other campaigners.

Hunter said:

"The joint report on the human rights of mental health patients in Scotland has motivated me to produce another paper which I attach: 


Interview: Hunter Watson in The Guardian, Saturday 13 October 2007: Mother knows best

concluding paragraphs:
"Watson claims he then discovered a second time that his mother was being given medicine without her consent or knowledge. No formal complaint was ever made, no investigation was ever held, but at Watson's insistence, his mother was never covertly sedated again. In 1999 she contracted cancer, and this time - to her son's surprise - she gave her own consent for pain relief. Although by then in an advanced state of dementia she was still quite capable, he points out, of making a "treatment decision" for herself. But as the pain relief levels increased, her mental condition deteriorated. "She would say, 'Where is Hunter?' I'd say, 'I'm Hunter.' She'd look puzzled. I'd say, 'the boy you used to look after', and that seemed to reassure her. She'd say, 'Yes, and now you're looking after me.'" In January 2000, Helen Watson passed peacefully away.

But by then her son had begun his campaign against covert medication, which has now taken him all the way to the Scottish parliament. New guidelines are under review, and he hopes to see the practice explicitly outlined in the near future. "I would like," he says simply, "Scotland to be the first country in the world to say, 'Look, this is wrong - it shouldn't happen.'"

He must have made himself quite a thorn in the side of many authorities - he is, in his own words, "a bit of a serial campaigner" - but even he seems slightly amazed that his long campaign may at last be about to rewrite the rights of the elderly. I ask if he has been fighting all these years for his mother, as a tribute, or memorial, to her. He looks at me in quiet astonishment.

"No," he says softly. "I'm doing it because it is wrong."

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