Learning Something New

Today, within my University lecture I learnt something new – kind of the point, I know… but still…

In my Law and Policy lecture this morning, we discussed all things law related and we were pointed in the direction of a case involving the Mental Health Act and the Human Rights Act. No other information was given other than the name of the case (Bournewood Case).

As my interest in mental health is quite a healthy one, I immediately noted it down and made a mental plan to go and look at it when I had chance.

I now have a 3 hour break (11.00 – 14.00) and find myself in the library getting a laptop out on loan to look at what I can find.

As someone who has spent years working with individuals with various learning disabilities and conditions, I find it horrifying to read that a person with autism could have ever been detained under the Mental Health Act ‘informally’. Surely the aim of being sectioned under the Mental Health Act is that it is the last resort and only done as a way of providing treatment and ensuring that the person is in a safe environment to heal and recover…

(Though I have never been detained or sectioned – my own experiences assure me that the system is not a kind one and that my view that people should be made to feel safe and secure may not be the case)

 

“They engaged a solicitor on his behalf and took a case for unlawful detention to the High Court, which ruled against him. The Appeal Court overturned the decision in October 1997, and the hospital chose to section HL, although he did not meet the criteria, and in December that year he was finally discharged by the hospital managers…”

“In 1998, the House of Lords overturned the ruling that HL’s detention had been illegal…”

“Mr and Mrs E decided to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights, which in October 2004 ruled in HL’s favour. As a result the government introduced the new Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, which came into force in April 2009…”

This case changed the law (in Britain) – thankfully, although I find it incredibly disheartening that change came from such trauma. As is usually the case.

I recommend reading about it (Bournewood Case), if you haven’t already.

 

 

Trying something new

Prompt:
“Why are you glaring at me?”
“I’m hoping you’ll spontaneously combust.”

 

“…I’ve had a bit of a shit year. I got divorced.”

“Sorry to hear that.”

“I’m not. Bastard cheated.”

As she approaches the group, she slows down to debate whether to keep on walking silently or pause to exchange polite chit-chat. Hearing the conversation topic, her eyes narrow. The woman, well known to her, makes eye contact. There is a smile on the woman’s face that fades once she realises it is not returned, “You okay, love?”

The girl tilts her head briefly to one side, “Yeah, fine.”

“Why you glaring at me?” is asked with a humorous snicker, “ya know, if the wind changes, it’ll stay like that.”

“Maybe that’s just my face.”

The group dissolves into laughter, assuming the conversation is in jest. As if by unconscious consensus, the group starts to walk towards the centre of town.

The woman slows, walking towards the girl, “You’re still glaring at me. Why?”

“I’m hoping you’ll spontaneously combust.” The response is said so sarcastically it causes pause, the woman startled by the harshness of the words, “Dave left you?” the girl stands her ground, maintaining eye contact as she asks the question.

She spits out a defensive response, “I left him. He cheated!”

“Wasn’t he married to someone else when you met him? You were the other woman, right?”

“What’s tha…”

“And you and Paul, you know each other quite well, right? Despite the fact that he’s been in a relationship with a friend of yours for the last decade…”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, hun.” The woman states, eyes lowing to the floor.

“Well… I’m just pointing out the fact that criticising someone for being the other woman when you have been in that position yourself, and continue to be in that position despite recent events and despite the fact that Paul’s partner is a ‘friend’ of yours… it kinda makes you sound like a hypocrite”

“Don’t shit stir. You’ll only end up hurting her.”

“Oh, she already knows. You don’t honestly think she wouldn’t?”

A defeated sigh leaves the woman, shoulders slumped, “Look, hun…”

The girl jumps in, interrupting the woman for the second time in as many minutes, “I’m just saying what everyone else is no doubt thinking. Only difference is, I dislike you just enough to voice it.” The girl walks closer, a hairs breath between them, “She deserves better. Paul is Paul, no one would be shocked to hear he has a wondering eye. It’s the fact that you call yourself her friend that gets me. That’s kind of the lowest blow. The kind that’s deserving of being glared at. In my opinion.”

 

~Just Me~