Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Law, Legislation and Civil Liberty – BC Mental Health Act. (BCMHA) – Discriminatory

If one contemplates this acts application in the context of Section 8 (1) b of the human rights code,

a.       Unlawful to discriminate against a person or class of persons regarding any accommodation, service or facility customarily available to the public because of the race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation or age of that person or class of persons.

Discrimination begins at the point of accusation and continues with the circumvention of due process and procedure.  In Canada, as per fundamental law, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the full breadth of Canadian Jurisprudence’s history and practice, one critical fundamental lies at the core of our law, we exist in a state of liberty and for that state liberty to be interrupted it must be proven justified in front of a justice and / or jury. The BC Mental Health Act denies this right, it permits an opinion of a lay person to have a person incarcerated, it then requires a doctor’s opinion to have you detained for 24 hours and another doctor’s opinion to have you detained indefinitely. If you object, a retrograde process in the form of a Review Panel is provided, a lawyer, a doctor, and another member preside over your future – no judge or jury like criminals get. So at the mere accusation of mental infirmity by a layperson or a police officer, absent imminent threat to self or others, you can be locked up and forced to treatment for an extended period of time; the subject in the subject case was detained under section 37 Leave or Extended Leave for 12 years.

Excerpt Section 22 BCMHA

(i)  requires treatment in or through a designated facility,
(ii)  requires care, supervision and control in or through a designated facility to prevent the person's or patient's substantial mental or physical deterioration or for the protection of the person or patient or the protection of others, and
(iii)  cannot suitably be admitted as a voluntary patient.

Absent a single act of violence, absent any threat of suicide, absent any objective evidence, absent any proof of a physical pathogen; the BCMMA can be activated and you can be incarcerated. People accused of mental infirmity are at the whim of medical opinion – see Section ii above – there is no requirement for imminent harm to self or others, no requirement of proof. “Patient’s mental or physical deterioration” has had the act applied if someone is appearing to be “irrationally” managing their money. If you choose to stop working and to sit on the side of a hill and meditate, and your spouse or other lay person deems this an irrational act, they could have the BCMHA actuated.

Discriminatory Elements of the Act.

1.       No judicial review before incarceration.

2.       A Review Panel process that makes rudimentary the incarceration and detention of people and flouts the traditions of Canadian jurisprudence.

3.      Reduced standard of review – the balance of probabilities vs beyond reasonable doubt (we extend criminals better protection), if complaints ever make it to court by people accused of mental illness.

4.       Reduced evidentiary standards:
a.       The “evidence” presented has no obligation to be based in fact.
b.      The “evidence” presented is written by the doctors and accepted by Review Panel as “evidence”, this is like the Crown Attorney writing “guilty” on a sheet of paper and the Judge accepting it.
c.       “Evidence” is collected from third parties, interpreted, and then entered into a judicial process – absent opportunity for review by the accused or incarcerated.
d.      There are no discovery obligations in the Review Panel process, the accused can be denied access to information that contributes to their incarceration.
e.   If the Review Panel Process is challenged in the Courts under Section 33, evidence that accumulated in a process that is substandard to Supreme Court proceedings is admissible and is the only Statutory avenue available to access the BCSC.

5.    The accused can be denied access to process altogether upon the recommendation of the accusing doctor.

6.    There is no more severe form of sanction than arresting a person’s state liberty in Canadian law, save the requirement to relinquish control over mind and body, people merely accused of Mental Illness are subject to both – WITH NO JUDICIAL REVIEW – accused criminals are only subject to incarceration and they have better treatment.    
This is intended to bring awareness to the inequity of the act, it is discriminatory make no mistake about it – grossly so. In an attempt to “have better ability to help”, a group of people have lobbied for this act, a group of people radicalized by bad experience – they have succeeded in convincing the government and in doing so have grossly damaged legal processes and permitted discrimination. As you read more of my posts on the subject of the BCMHA, it will come to light that what is even worse than the ill being discriminated against – which is bad enough – is the fact that the entire population is at risk of its abuse. Abuse does happen – it has and will again.  

Post a Comment