PE01494: Mental Health Legislation


Petitioner: W. Hunter Watson


Date Lodged: 13 November 2013

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to amend the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 to ensure that it is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Petition History:


10 December 2013: The Committee took evidence from W. Hunter Watson, and Fiona Sinclair, Convener, Autism Rights. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland, the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, the Scottish Human Rights Commission, the Scottish Association for Mental Health, the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, NHS Scotland, the World Health Organization, the Scottish Health Council and the Law Society of Scotland. Link to Official Report 10 December 2013 (425KB pdf)

4 March 2014: The Committee agreed to close the petition, under Rule 15.7, on the basis that there is broad agreement from the organisations that responded that the 2003 Act is compliant with human rights legislation and does not require amending in the way sought in the petition. In doing so, the Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government drawing its attention to the written submissions received by the Committee, inviting it to contact the individuals who had made submissions to invite their views as part of the consultation on the proposed Mental Health (Scotland) Bill and to request that the deadline for responses to the consultation be extended. Link to Official Report 4 March 2014 (403KB pdf)

Written Submissions:

"Any law which violates the inalienable rights of man is essentially unjust and tyrannical : it is not a law at all." Maximillien Robespierre

Claire Muir

20:14 on 13 Nov 2013

We have experience of the Mental Health Tribunal system and have submitted a report of how we found the process to the Scottish Government and other interested agencies which led to a recent meeting with the Minister for Public Health. We have drawn similar conclusions and have made similar recommendations. We support this petition. PEO1494

A. Burns

12:30 on 12 Nov 2013

given my experiences as a social care supplier in shropshire from 2006 until the present day i am absolutely convinced that mental health service are facilitating the abuse vulnerable people for local authority fiscal advantage, an aktion nouveau if you will.

mike foreman

18:32 on 07 Nov 2013

A mistake in diagnosis is one thing. DELIBERATE incarceration of whistle blowers in 'Mental Hospitals' to silence them is another! see , though it is not as up to date as it should be.

Norman Scarth

15:42 on 04 Nov 2013

I have been asked to post the following: "I have been fighting my sectioning since 2000, which was brought about by my husband, he received help from his relative in the police and his crooked lawyer. I was sectioned under a 117 warrant, which gives the police powers or another authorised person to enter the premises, your home, and remove you to a mental hospital for 72 hours. When in hospital my GP, who had only met me once when I changed to her practice, and a social worker who had the title of MHO whom I had never met, both sectioned me under a Section 24. They approached me with 6 other people outside my flat telling me they were there to section me. I started to run, I was assaulted, carried to the hallway of my building, thrown onto the concrete floor, flipped over and forcibly held face down, my trousers pants taken down and I was injected with anti psychotic drug into my bottom and knocked out. I woke up in a mental hospital with two doctors taking blood from my arm and on a ECG monitor. My cousins (my next of kin) were told by the nurse in charge at the time, that he was concerned about my high blood pressure and that he was not happy by the way that I was taken in to hospital. I have been denied a copy of the warrant from Aberdeen Social Services and Aberdeen Sheriff Court, and to date I still do not have a copy of the warrant or the diagnosis as to why I was sectioned. Having gone through the terrible experience of being forcibly detained, having no mental health history, the whole thing was based on lies. The law has to change all my complaints have fallen on deaf ears. One is left with a label and NO VOICE. The Mental Welfare Commission is not independent and does not take a stance to help people in their hour of need. They do not even answer your letters. The Scottish Government has to listen and change this process of sectioning which open to abuse and corruption. I feel for the Duchess and everyone else."

Andrew Muir

12:50 on 04 Nov 2013

While detention under the mental health act may be necessary for some, why is it used so much against young children who are denied the opportunity to live with their natural family?

Sophie Palmer

11:17 on 04 Nov 2013

I was wrongly diagnosed with "chronic mental disorder" in order to cover up malpractice in the NHS as I was butchered by a surgeon who has already been found guilty of malpractice for similar nasty deeds on other patients, the NHS and the GMC are nothing but a bunch of crooks who will do anything to cover their evil practices. Pure Evil!!!

Stanley Richardson

20:18 on 02 Nov 2013

I was wrongly detained by three strangers who did not know me or even try to find out about me. They did not explain why I was being detained and so I tried to escape. They broke my arm in two places. The next day they stole my mobile phone and then injected me for complaining. My employer got me out after 8 days of hell. This was 2009 and I still have not got over the injustice. Psychiatry has far too much power. They hold mothers and children and refuse to let their loved ones look after them. Jailed without trial.

Cheryl Prax

20:51 on 30 Oct 2013

Stalinian... but it is all about money, isn'it ?

florence hewitt

9:03 on 30 Oct 2013

I had a family member become mentally unwell as a result of medically prescribed steroid use. Initially the psychiatrist expected an improvement within a week. Sadly he was moved hospital and the new registrar disagreed that is was due to steroids. he was later proved wrong. He decided to try to sanction my relative without my knowledge despite the fact I was actually visiting at the time. When I asked for a second opinion I was told it was nothing to do with me. He was wrongness two accounts. my opinion did count and I was due a second opinion, which thankfully agreed with me. My family member was not trying to leave as the nurses had decided his behaviour suggested. If only they has talked to us. Sadly our mentally ill people are treated rather badly as a result of ignorance about the mental health act by professionals. This act is used instead of care and treatment. When I was not around my relative was put under a short term order and THEN given one to one support and medication to which he settled immediately. When I asked why this was not tried first they were flabbergasted. MHA first. I fought and won twice to prevent sectioning apart from the short term one. It should not be a fight. The MHA is there to protect patients, not make life easier for nurses and medical staff.

Fiona lundie

18:53 on 28 Oct 2013

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