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Offline Dethgurl

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Footage of psychiatric patient
« on: January 24, 2011, 01:12:54 PM »
Footage of psychiatric patient, 18, tied up in care sparks bitter debate over treatment for the mentally ill in Netherlands


By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:09 AM on 24th January 2011

A documentary which shows a mentally ill and potentially dangerous teenager in psychiatric care has sparked a political debate in the Netherlands, with Human Rights activists crying out for change.

Many are calling for the treatment of the mentally ill to be re-examined after the video, which was aired on Dutch television last week, showed patient Brandon van Ingen tethered to a wall.

Since 2007 the 18-year-old has spent part of his days at Ermelo mental hospital tied to a rope in a harness in his room - because he is viewed as being a threat to other people.

Scroll down to see reaction to the documentary in Holland

The documentary, which was produced by EO (Evangelische Omroep, which translates as Evangelical Broadcasting), shows how Van Ingen is treated - and led to the country’s political parties holding emergency meetings on Wednesday to discuss care for the mentally ill.

Dutch Health Secretary Marlies Veldhuijzen van Zanten-Hyllner said that the teen's condition was so severe that it was necessary for him to be treated in this way.

In a letter written to parliament she wrote: 'Brandon’s issue is so serious that he must be restricted in his freedom for the sake of his own safety and that of others.

'Because of this, Brandon consistently makes use of a band that he fastens himself when he is in the presence of his attendants and other visitors. Whenever there is no one present and at night, the band is loosened.'

Mrs Van Zanten-Hyllner addressed the different parties' political meetings, explaining that Mr Van Ingen’s care was in line with rules for restraining mental health patients, but promised to examine whether a change is needed.

'The broadcast [called 'Outspoken'] stirred me deeply,' she continued in the letter to parliament.

'It is upsetting to see that such a young person, who has his life before him, has so little perspective for a better future.'

Mrs Van Zanten-Hyllner noted that Mr Van Ingen, who apparently hears voices that tell him to do 'bad and dangerous things', has his own apartment where he can move about freely.

The hospital is working on alternatives for his care, van Zanten-Hyllner wrote, 'and is undertaking constant efforts to improve the living situation'.

A former carer at the hospital, called Iris Mourits, said: 'I could no longer do these shifts.

'Back-up shifts were OK, but being together with him in a room - I think at some point he could sense that from the depths of my toes I could no longer see him on that leash.'

Mr Van Ingen’s mother, Petra, compared his care to that of a 'caged animal'.

'He feels like a dog on a leash,' she said.

The hospital issued a statement on Saturday assuring family members of those at the facility that Mr Van Ingen’s case is an exceptional one and doesn’t reflect the care the majority of patients receive.

Health care inspectors said on Thursday that they would 'investigate the cases in which freedom is taken away from patients similar to Brandon’s situation'.

Mrs Van Zanten-Hyllner said there are about 40 cases similar to van Ingen’s in the Netherlands.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"The people, when they have been unchecked, have been as unjust, tyrannical, brutal, barbarous and cruel as any king or senate possessed of uncontrollable power.
The majority has eternally, and without one exception, usurped over the rights of the minority." ~John Adams