Good news from the supreme court in Germany

Berlin 29/4/2011

Two weeks ago our supreme court (the court on constitutional rights) published it’s verdict on the question of whether or not forced treatment in a forensic psychiatric prison is allowed.
They ruled that the regional state law on which the lower courts decided was unconstitutional and is therefore immediately no longer valid.
This is in effect valid for all states in Germany. The court said that a law allowing forced treatment might be made but there are conditions to be fulfilled and the restrictions are so tight that the supreme court considered this not possible under the present circumstances.

For us the most important is their statement that forced treatment might be allowed, but only to restore the ability of a patient to consent or to refuse treatment. However, this only applies if the incapacity to consent or to refuse treatment is because of the patient’s mental illness. The judges ruled this as being the “ability to exercise the constitutional right to freedom which must exist in practice”.
That means that our type of advance medical directive gives exactly the right advice, namely the ability to consent at a previous time and it is therefore valid, because it is then the will of the patient by law.
The second tight restriction the supreme court ruled is that any coercion would be only allowed in the event of a danger to oneself, any danger to others being prevented by the incarceration in a forensic prison anyway.

So our special Psychiatric Advance Directive (PAD) PatVerfü® is also valid in forensic prisons anyway 🙂
We have developed this special PAD PatVerfü® in accordance with our new German law on advance medical directives, which successfully excludes any coercive measures in psychiatry, be it psychiatric examinations/diagnoses, incarceration or treatment.
This is our new internet presentation in English, where we now have an English translation of this form which I also enclose as a pdf attachment.
The subtitle of our PAD PatVerfü® is: “Insane? Your own choice!”

We assume that the deal behind the scenes is that the court ruled the CRPD out of the game, because in the reasons for the verdict it negated every argument given by our lawyer on the grounds of the CRPD in an expert opinion, which is now published here in German.
As, according to the CRPD, all psychiatric coercion would have to be abolished, they decided in favour of the destruction of the CRPD and instead ruled the existing law to be unlawful and an advance medical directive to be binding.
So our funeral of the CRPD on November 10 was unfortunately perfectly right as it is now proved that any hope on a German court to fulfil the promises of the CRPD was in vain. In case you may have a special interest learning more, I can try to explain how sinister the argumentation of the supreme court is. In case you would like to get a vague idea of the argumentation of the court and how they ruled out the CRPD read paragraph 52 and 53 of the verdict.

So the conclusion of our struggle is that the most promising way to go is an intermediate step putting all efforts on innovations in the PAD to advance it into a legally “watertight” loophole in the psychiatric coercion system. As soon as an “opt out” of the system is possible in a legally binding form, an alleged “mental illness” will prove to be a mystification because it exists only if one makes the mistake of not being in possession of a certain document, namely a special kind of PAD (a PatVerfü®). That erodes to vanishing point the belief of any “objectivity” on mental illness.

Best regards
rene talbot
(Secretary of IAAPA and member of the board of a national German user and survivor organization)