MENTAL HEALTH Public Hearing – Deaths in Seclusion
NSW Inquiry into Seclusion and Restraint
Have you or a loved one ever been administered intravenous sedation as a restraint and experienced extremely disturbing side effects such as ‘terror’ or a feeling that you have no control of your body?
Please attend this Community Consultation on 12th September at Lismore City Hall. 1 Bounty St, Lismore, NSW. Time 5-7pm. Be informed. Have your say.
2. Register your interest online at:
Review of seclusion, restraint and observation of consumers with a mental illness in NSW Health facilities http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/patients/mentalhealth/Pages/consultation.aspxw
- 13th September at Pacific Bay Resort. Cnr Pacific Hwy and Bay Drive, Coffs Harbour, NSW. Time 5-7pm
- 19th September at Mercure Wagga Wagga. 1-5 Morgan St, Wagga Wagga, NSW. Time 5-7pm
- 20th September at Best Best Western Central Motel. 11 Antill St, Queanbeyan, NSW. Time 5-7pm
A Friend’s Story
“In May of this year I was shackled in my home without resisting and brought to hospital secured on a gurney as “the least restrictive way”. In the ED I was gently moved from the gurney to a hospital bed where 8 people gently placed there hands on me to restrain me if I resisted. I was calmly administered intravenous haloperidol without resisting with devastating effects. It was traumatising and unreasonable.
Intravenous haloperidol causes severe side affects that are feared and detested, that last for several hours after it is administered to a patient who wakes up in a state of terror with an EKG monitoring their heart. It can cause sudden cardiac death.
Adding this terror, is the fact that patients are not told that what they are experiencing is the side effects of the medication
Haloperidol is a neurotoxin that was developed in 1958 and it’s dark history of abuse in Soviet Psychiatry has been well documented
In NSW, clinical guidelines in regard to its use as a chemical restraint in IV sedation are that it is only to be used in extreme circumstances where there is no other alternative to manage violent or aggressive patients.
However, current legislation allows psychiatrists to use their discretion in administering intravenous haloperidol as a form of “therapy”. It is merely labelled as “treatment” and therefore is not bound by policies regarding restraint.
While the use of physical restraints and seclusions rooms are reducing, we need to know what is going on with the use of IV sedation and all forms of chemical restraint.
As well as collecting data on seclusion, this current Inquiry must also scrutinise and collect data on episodes of IV sedation.
There is currently a NSW inquiry into the use of seclusion and restraints with several public hearings already held around NSW. There are four more being held this month in Lismore, Coffs Harbour, Wagga Wagga and Queanbeyan. I live in Sydney and will attend all these meetings to make sure people like me with lived experience of IV sedation as chemical restraint are represented.
It has been noticed that the hearings held so far have had very low attendance and it may be that people are unaware of these hearings. I’d like to place the following public service announcement. If there is a cost for this, please advise. Thank you.”