Mr Thomson said the ban was akin to forced treatment for psychiatric patients who were not entitled to leave hospital grounds.
Saturday, 31 July 2010
Hospital Smoking Bans
Hospitals are a battleground for smokers and the health lobby. The health lobby wants hospitals to show the way, lead by example and under no circumstances be seen to be endorse smoking. On the other hand patients, and their visitors, are in a difficult place in their lives, sometimes in crisis or grief.
Hospitals in Scotland still have facilities for smokers in mental health facilities. We understand the Scottish Government supports a phased removal of these facilities, but it is not clear when they will advance further along this route.
There will be more news about hospitals very soon. In the mean time the concerns of Richard Thomson in this article about a ban on psychiatric wards in Dunedin, NZ, ring very true:
'Akin to' forced treatment? It is forced treatment. It can't be ethical to enforce a non-smoking policy on a member of the public who is being treated for an unrelated condition. Apart from anything else a psychiatric patient is a captive market for 'approved' nicotine delivery. The policy is likely to deter many smokers from volunteering for treatment when they are most in need.