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Question
Posted by: Susan Melly | 2004/10/06

Drug & Alcohol abuse - now mental

I have a brother who has abused substances for over twenty five years, and he has now reached the 'psychotic' stage where he is seeing martians. We need to have him admitted to an institution who will not release him after 2 days because of his 'human rights'. We have managed to locate him in Cape Town, but we need to act fast. What can we do???

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Our expert says:
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There are of course supposed to be safeguards for human rights, but which are supposed to take into account the rights of EVERYONE. Someone who may be a risk to themselves and/or to other people, can indeed be admitted compulsorily, and even receive initially compulsory treatment. You obviously need to assistance of the police and of a doctor or two in Cape Town. Usually, for understandable reasons, it is easier to arrange for a short INITIAL hospital admission for ASSESSMENT. This gives enough time for the doctors to assess the person, and decide whether they need a longer hospital admission, in which case this can be arranged, either compulsorily, or voluntarily ( within a couple of days, many people, sedated and with some medicatio starting to work and some serious discussions with the doctors, recognize that they need treatment and agree to say on voluntarily.
But people involved in signing documents and authorizing such admissions include potentially the police, doctors, and next of kin ( within a line of relationship defined by law )

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