Last night I saw something shocking on UK TV, it was a panorama investigation of a care home for people with learning disabilities and related problems.
During this show I saw callous members of staff baiting mental patients in the same way I imagine some people might torment a dog by poking it with sticks.
I know that many members of the general public do not like ‘mental patients’, I think that this is a fear based largely in ignorance and also because some ‘mental patients’ might behave in ways which are challenging. If people do something which you have never witnessed before then it is possible that the activity which you stumble upon might confuse or unnerve you.
Years ago I was at a friend’s house, his father is a retired prison psychologist and I started to look at a psychology textbook. The book explained something of society’s attitude to mental illness. It said that for many people an insane clown is funnier while a ‘mad murderer’ is more terrorising. If you look at popular culture you will notice that the insane evil genius appears again and again, most James Bond villains seem to have ‘something wrong upstairs’. While the occasional violent mental patient exists, from what I have read the majority of mental patients are not dangerous.
I hold the view that the mentally ill are just as entitled to human rights as the mentally well part of the population. To strip the mentally ill or mentally handicapped of their human rights is just as unreasonable as stripping heart disease patients of their human rights. Both of these silly courses of action are equally abhorrent.
Sadly because of their conditions the residents at the care home are unlikely to be credible witnesses in court, I think as a result some members of staff at the home choose to entertain themselves by terrorising the patients. I think that a good moral test is to ask yourself the question of
“Would the conduct be considered acceptable behaviour by a prison officer or a man guarding prisoners of war ?”
If the conduct fails the moral test for what you can do with healthy adults, then surely it is even less acceptable when the person on the receiving end is either a child or a person with only the faculties of a child.
During the program I saw a series of human rights abuses which included what appeared to me to be the exploitation of phobias and soaking a person with water before leaving them in the cold to suffer. Unless you think it would be acceptable to lock naked criminals in a fridge then this treatment of the mentally handicapped woman is deeply wrong.
If you want to know more than visit the following web page.
PS. If you do think that locking criminals in the deep freeze is acceptable then please do not join the prison service!