Justice for Persons Whose Mental Health Conditions Render Them Especially Vulnerable to Abuse
September 4, 2012
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Peter Rosenthal is a lawyer widely experienced in matters of social justice who is also Professor of Mathematics at the University of Toronto. Suzan Fraser is a lawyer specializing in constitutional and administrative law with over 15 years’ experience in public interest, social justice, children’s rights and mental health issues. They discuss the legal matters they deal with that relate to persons with mental illnesses which lead to risky effects, such as behaviors over which the person has little or no control. They talk about legal cases in which risky effects of mental illnesses have found their way into the justice system, and what the outcome was. They discuss the types of legal actions and their strengths and weaknesses relative to responses to types of risky effects of the illness. They highlight the changes they think are needed in the justice system and their messages for family caregivers caring for family members whose mental illnesses have involved the justice system.
Family Caregivers Unite!
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Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.
Dr. Gordon Atherley
Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.
Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.