Sunday, 30 December 2012

Smoking ban at psychiatric hospitals 'inhumane'

A letter in Scotland on Sunday accurately describes the smoking ban imposed at Scottish psychiatric hospitals as inhumane.

In 2009 the Scottish Government issued a consultation on the issue of  smoking bans in mental health facilities. Freedom to Choose (Scotland) challenged the consultation because of signficant misleading information in the text, and and a clear bias in the line of questioning. Following the consultation, the Scottish Government did not legislate to remove the smoking ban exemption for psychiatric facilities, but made it clear that NHS trusts could remove smoking rooms on the sites of their psychiatric units. See this story for background.

Correspondent George McGregor points out the very long time that patients are confined to psychiatric institutions, and the extremely distressing environment generally found in them. He concludes: 'What happened to the ethos of a caring NHS? Smoking lounges should be reinstated on humanitarian grounds alone.' I agree: the provision of smoking rooms in places where people are confined for treatment should be a legal requirement, on health and safety grounds if nothing else.


What the.... said...

The link to the article is:

What the.... said...

The hardest hit are involuntary patients that smoke. It must be remembered that involuntary patients are not criminals. Not permitted to go outside, they are not permitted to smoke at all. The critical problem is that these laws are contrived by bureaucrats and the antismoking dimwitted bigots of numerous “charitable” organizations that have never worked in a mental facility and are utterly oblivious to the day to day needs of mental patients, or even the idea of patient autonomy. They are also pushed by Big Pharma in that these non-consenting (to smoking cessation) patients will be slapped with useless gums and patches, or, worse still, Chantix, or are sedated: It’s all profit for BP. These laws are typically opposed by those that work in such facilities. But to fanatics/zealots and profit-seekers the needs of patients count for naught; only their deranged smokefree “utopia” matters.

The fanatics prefer that these patients are restrained physically or chemically (sedation – more profit for Pharma) rather than allow them to have a cigarette – even outside. And the needless, cruel confrontation/agitation can occur a number of times daily for months, if not years. Why would anyone want to regularly put a mental patient through this agitation, particularly for no good reason? This is a very nasty, cruel streak that is being allowed to flourish in the medical establishment. Requiring a staff member to accompany a patient outside for a cigarette (or an involuntary patient) also opens the circumstance to the corruption of “favors”, particularly concerning female patients; with favors, typically of a sexual nature, the more frequent accompaniment outside for a cigarette (or the provision of a cigarette for involuntary patients).

The situation is such that those that have pushed for this cruel, asinine law are in need of serious counseling, at the very least, if not some jail time.

See also

Important points:

What the.... said...

It should be noted that voluntary patients are presenting for a particular mental condition. They are not presenting for smoking cessation. Involuntary patients are classified as such by a court order that requires them to undergo treatment for a particular mental condition. There is nothing in the court order about smoking cessation: Smoking is NOT why they have been classified as a mental patient. The facility is obliged to only treat the condition deemed by the court.

If an involuntary patient is asking for a cigarette, they obviously don’t want to quit. Forcing smoking cessation on them is going beyond the scope of treatment permitted for the patient and violating informed consent. It’s bureaucrats and antismoking activist bigots terribly messing with vulnerable patients: There is VERY serious misconduct occurring here that’s coming from the very top under the influence of neurotic antismoking bigots.

In addition to shilling for the nicotine patches, consider the zombie-like response (one of the links) by the bigoted dimwit from ASH where he likens tobacco to potent narcotics, such as cocaine and heroin, and marijuana, and overlooking the critical fact that tobacco, unlike the others, is legal.

Belinda said...

@What the: thanks for your comments and for supplying the link, which I forgot to add into the article. I've added it now for ease of reference.

Lou said...

Wrote this in Sept 2009, so it's in archives.

"On 20 August 09, when our Justice Secretary announced the release of a Lockerbie Bomber, he did a fine job of summarising Scottish values. He stressed our humanity, our compassion and our belief in justice and fairness.

Vindictiveness, spite, malice and taking the law into your own hands were never held in high esteem in this country: until 26 March 2006.

He represents a Government that continues to deny individuals their civil liberties. They consider it fair that individuals who smoke may only do so outside.

They've even considered banning smoking within hospice for the terminally ill! Spiteful and vindictive stuff, given licence by lousy legislation".

Weird lot, weird values.

Have a cracking good Hogmanay and Blog On!