Alberta government has planned to introduce an amendment to their Mental Health Act, which will make it simpler for mentally ill patients to be committed to hospital if they are not taking the desired medications.
This proposed legislation was received with a mixed response from different quarters of the society. While the advocates of the mentally ill patients have welcomed this move, a few health critics have spoken against it. They feel that this is tantamount to treading on thin ice as there is a possibility of breaching human rights here.
Laurie Blakeman, the Liberal health critic felt that the government should not use this legislation to abandon their social responsibility towards mentally ill patients. He also added that the legislation has not considered the families of such patients.
Fay Herrick, spokeswoman for the Calgary branch of the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta, welcomed the proposed legislation and said that it would aid in the timely treatment of psychiatric patients. The bill is also expected to introduce community treatment orders under which the mentally ill patients should strictly follow the treatment and supervision plans planned by their doctors to live in the community. The bill would be ready for debate during the spring legislative session beginning this week.