Thursday, July 05, 2007

Psychiatric treatment in Canada

Nova Scotia’s new Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act went into effect on Tuesday. The Halifax police department welcomed the new law stating, “in the past officers were powerless as they watched someone's condition slowly deteriorate over a day or week. If that person committed a crime, police would take him to an emergency room to try to have him forced into treatment.” Now police are able to intervene, without waiting for a crime to occur, if a person: (i) is threatening or attempting to cause serious harm to himself or herself or has recently done so, has recently caused serious harm to himself or herself, is seriously harming or is threatening serious harm towards another person or has recently done so, or (ii) as the result of the mental disorder, the person is likely to suffer serious physical impairment or serious mental deterioration; AND is likely to benefit from treatment.