What’s going on in the land Down Under? It seems that, more and more, one of the world’s enduring democracies is becoming more like Castro’s Cuba or Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, especially where medical rights are concerned.
According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the mental health minister for Western Australia has apologized after police arrested a man who was mistaken for a patient from a psychiatric hospital.
Cops arrested the man Dec. 16, the report said, because he supposedly fit the description of a patient who walked away from Graylands Hospital in Perth.
How do you misidentify one of your own patients?
Oddly, Graylands staff “wrongly confirmed the man’s identity before administration a strong antipsychotic drug for schizophrenia,” said ABC. The staff – who, it seems, should have discovered their mistake once they got a good look at the guy – wound up rushing him to a nearby hospital after giving him the drug because he had an adverse reaction to it.
Thankfully, some Australian legislators are upset over the incident.
“I’m absolutely horrified to have heard about this,” Greens MP (minister of Parliament) Alison Xamon said, in calling for an inquiry into the incident.
“I think it raises so many questions about what’s happening with procedures,” she said. “It certainly requires some very serious investigation, if not inquiry.”
Helen Morton, the mental health minister, said she was sorry for the trouble caused to the man who was misidentified and then drugged, saying there was no excuse for such a terrible mistake. She has vowed to hold those responsible to account following a review.
More medical rights deprived Down Under
This story comes on the heels of another medicine-related story from Australia regarding the punishment of an organization that advocates patient choice when it comes to deciding whether or not they want to receive vaccines.
A government entity, the New South Wales Department of Fair Trading, is requiring the Australian Vaccination Network, an advocacy group, to change its name after 16 years over what sounds like the most dubious of reasons: concerns from “within the community,” according to a blog site LivingWisdom.com.
According to the site, the AVN is a community-based information and support group that advocates for the right of people “to make free and informed health choices” – namely, whether or not they choose to receive vaccines.
Two groups appear to be behind the harassment campaign directed at AVN.
One is called Stop the AVN (SAVN), “a hate group whose sole reason for existence is to force the AVN to close in any way they can,” said LivingWisdom.com, whose tactics have “included harassment, death threats, posting of violent pornography, hacking the AVN’s website and a flood of vexatious complaints” to local and federal government agencies – complaints that have led to “investigations which may have cost the Australian taxpayers millions of dollars.”
The second group is the Australian Medical Association (AMA), an industry lobbying organization that represents about half of all Australian physicians (who obviously have a stake in administering vaccines). “The collective prestige of the medical profession obviously suffers each time vaccination is called into question,” said the website.