11 years after the sanction of the mental health and addictions law, two media cases in the past week have reopened criticism and discussion of its application in the country. One of them is the Philippe Pettinato, who is hospitalized after the fire in his apartment in which a doctor died in circumstances which have not yet been clarified by the courts; another, that of Milkfishadmitted to the Avril clinic after a psychotic attack. Marina Charpentierthe musician’s mother, took part this afternoon in a conference at the Senate to boost a change in legislation running.
Was a tense debate which involved doctors, lawyers and politicians, as well as relatives of people with addictions and mental health issues who testified about how they live with despair day to day with situations that often end in suicides and acts of violence. The main claim of the last was for the law to be amended urgently to speed up the psychiatric hospitalizations.
“I am here because I am the mother of a person with the disease of addiction. I speak for hundreds of mothers They ask me to speak for them. I don’t have a peaceful Saturday night, I can’t sleep with the phone off because I don’t know if my son will be alive when I wake up,” Charpentier said. Chano’s mother is social worker specialist of Dependencies and reported that her son’s situation became known due to the episode last year in which he was injured by a police officer, but that she has been living with this problem for 20 years.
“Why should we be ashamed of having children with the addiction disease? have the symptom of consumptionbut behind there is a the Depression. The law did not help me. I have economic facilities that allowed me to pay very expensive hospitalizations, but that is not the reality of ordinary mothers. What does it mean that a person who has consumed marijuana, paco or cocaine is going to go freely to internment? “, he said in reference to the Section 20 of the Mental Health Act the current one, the most questioned by relatives and specialists who advocate a modification of the legislation, which determines what are the criteria so that progress can be made with the internment against his will sick people.
Charpentier reviewed the difficulties to be able to intern his son the last weeks during which the musician was isolated in a devouring domain. “I was terrified to call the ambulances again because the last time he was shot. During that time I got messages from my son saying ‘I won’t kill myself for you , but I can’t take it anymore.’ I had to call 911 again and say my son was having a psychotic breakdown like his psychiatrist advised me to say,” he said. After being ridiculed by the staff who treated her at 911, she said eight hours passed and no patrol car arrived. “The doctors to get in said they needed a search warrant, and I insisted on the door being opened and even so they didn’t come in. I asked the doctors ‘Put it in a straitjacket, tie him up and take him away, because I don’t want to have to watch my son,'” he said, breaking down into his story.
Prior to his testimony, he spoke Radio Christian Molina, psychiatrist, the speaker who most defended the modification of the current law. “You need to have a scientific discussion about the law. We have been here for 11 years, the problem is not one of the professionals we don’t want to apply it. It is public health. This law has been discussed in a closed book. Many see the definition of mental illness as stigmatizing, but we stick to the definition offered by the WHO. These medical problems must be solved by the Psychiatrist“, ground.
The psychologist reconsidered his position Angel Barraco, who was an adviser in the drafting of the current law. “It’s a lie that he was sanctioned in a closed book. To say that is to question the intelligence of the lawmakers who were unanimous in both houses. They want to put the responsibility on the law when in reality there is a political responsibility of the executive. None of the three governments that passed could carry it out. No serious epidemiological study has been carried out to make a census and determine the impact on the mental health of the Argentine population,” he explained. According to the psychologist, the law was sanctioned with the idea of ”desanicomialization” from the patients. “We were several specialists who had to agree to carry it out,” Barraco said.
In turn, Atilio Alvarez, defender of minors and those incapable of national justice in civil matters, maintained that the application of the law as soon as it was sanctioned was difficult; defended that it is a good regulation, although he also criticized article 20. “Before its sanction, we came from an era of dangerousness, a figure in which a future judgment was made about the person’s danger to himself or others and led to errors in most cases. We tried to correct with the figure of the certain or imminent risk, which shortened the delays, but it is still a future judgment. Article 20 must be reviewed and a balance must be found. Do not go from one extreme to the other. I hope Congress doesn’t go back to being dangerous,” he said.
Daniel Navarodoctor of Borda Neuropsychiatric Hospitaldefended the position against involuntary confinements and, during a review of the history of psychiatry, compared the psychiatric modalities of confinement with those implemented in the Nazi Germany during WWII. The official also participated Augustin Yecorawho works as the secretary of mental health, addictions and disability in the province of Jujuy.
The invitation to the meeting was made by the Deputy Marcela Campagnoli (Civic Coalition) and the Senator Mario Fiad (UCR). “It’s important that we can put the issue on the legislative agenda,” Campagnoli said. THE NATION. The member presented last October a draft changes of the law that has yet to be addressed by congressional health committees. “Today, many exhibitors have defended the law, but the reality is that 11 years after it was sanctioned, whether due to its regulations or its implementation, it has not produced the expected results. We need to define what a mental illness is. It is necessary to establish the criteria for the interdisciplinary teams involved and the conditions of admission. It must be prioritized, because the only one who can know if a person is suffering from a disorder is the psychiatrist,” he added. The MP argued that there was also a need to change the law in order to train family members and security personnel.
At the end of the meeting, consulted by THE NATION, Charpentier recounts the day: “When it happened to my son ten months ago, I thought something was going to change, but nothing happened. I ask you to realize that something has to be done, to settle the problem, because there are many people asking for help,” he concluded.