Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Smoking banned at State Hospital, Carstairs

I'll have more to say about this travesty in due course, but for now, let's just applaud the wisdom of depriving inmates of Carstairs of tobacco, with nothing to support the idea but the idea that smoking is bad for you (and if it's bad for you it must be bad for people around you). Except the staff seem more concerned than relieved that this measure (to include the hospital grounds, inexplicably) is being introduced.

The Sunday Mail article records staff concerns, but is remiss in other ways. The detail of what people have done before being sent there are relevant only insofar as they portray particularly agitated individuals. Their violent misdeeds have been judged by the courts to be a result of mental disorder. Sadly this seems to have prompted one or two individuals to conclude these evil people should be allowed no privileges – after all, law-abiding people are not allowed to smoke.

All very well, but the only reason these incarcerated people are being deprived of any tobacco whatever is that there are people prepared to exercise the power to stop them smoking. For the good of their health? Any guesses what they might take instead? Twenty years down the line, if we record the longevity of smokers spending most of their life in prison before compared with after the ban, I don't mind betting we will find very little difference.

WHO GAINS?


You tell me.

The other thing that the Sunday Mail reported inadequately was the Rampton judgement south of the border. The prisoners did fail to convince two judges, but did convince a third judge, who set out his reasoning in the judgement under the other judges' conclusion. There is nothing in this article even mentioning the third judge.

I will find a link later (EDIT: here). But from memory, he made the sound point that a total ban in a hospital setting such as Rampton meant complete abstinence from tobacco for patients who were never allowed to leave the building, and since such complete abstinence had not been explicitly considered as an outcome, it could not be said to have been endorsed.

9 comments:

JJ said...

What's happened to my comment?

JJ said...

Belinda – I found this on this site I don’t know if it helps.

Court of Appeal Confirms Rampton Smoking Ban is Lawful

October 2009

In the dissenting judgment Lord Justice Keene said that Article 8 was engaged since smoking
"forms an important part of their personal lives and possesses a value which reaches a level which qualifies for personal protection under Article 8 as part of their personal autonomy".
He went on to find that the reasons given to justify a smoking ban under Article 8(2) were insufficient because the practical effect of the Regulations was that patients at Rampton were unable to go outside and therefore unable to smoke. This went beyond what was necessary to achieve the public health objective of protecting people from second-hand smoke. It was therefore disproportionate and there was a breach of Article 8.

TheBigYin said...

I can see it in my email from the blog JJ but not on the blog itself. Will try and remedy it.

TBY

TheBigYin said...

This is the comment JJ left that did not publish:

Belinda – I found this on this site I don’t know if it helps.

Court of Appeal Confirms Rampton Smoking Ban is Lawful

October 2009

In the dissenting judgment Lord Justice Keene said that Article 8 was engaged since smoking
"forms an important part of their personal lives and possesses a value which reaches a level which qualifies for personal protection under Article 8 as part of their personal autonomy".
He went on to find that the reasons given to justify a smoking ban under Article 8(2) were insufficient because the practical effect of the Regulations was that patients at Rampton were unable to go outside and therefore unable to smoke. This went beyond what was necessary to achieve the public health objective of protecting people from second-hand smoke. It was therefore disproportionate and there was a breach of Article 8.

Belinda said...

Thanks for this link JJ. I do actually have the judgement in the form of a Word document but haven't worked out if it's possible to post it on the blog (does TheBigYin know?).

TheBigYin said...

Is there a reason why you can't 'cut n paste' from the word doc Bel? Or were you thinking of something like YUDU where you can upload then present it in 'turn over' page form?

Belinda said...

like Yudu John, the whole thing is long to cut and paste

TheBigYin said...

So what do you want to do Bel? You can register or pass it onto me and I will upload it. I can then put into draft in blogger where you can retreive it and add your stuff at the beginning.

Unfortunately it would be posted under my name.

Eddie Douthwaite said...

To the rescue again,here is the link to the Rampton Judgement:-

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2009/795.html