“UNLIKE MOST OF THE COUNTRY, B.C.’s legislation does not provide a lawyer for people with mental illness facing involuntary detention,” says Jay Chalke, B.C.’s ombudsperson. (Globe and Mail, September 2, 2020)
That means that people, who may or may not be mentally ill, can be held endlessly.
Detention of people under the guise of mental illness can have political overtones. The Soviet Union misused psychiatry to get rid of political opponents.
The term “philosophical intoxication,” a pseudo-scientific term for mental disorders, was applied to people who disagreed with the country’s Communist leaders.
I don’t mean to suggest that the government of B.C. is detaining political opponents under the Mental Health Act. But systemic paternalism and racism can play a role.
David Charbonneau is a retired TRU electronics instructor who hosts a blog at http://www.eyeviewkamloops.wordpress.com.