Vera Stein, involuntarily detained, won at European Court of Human Rights

Vera Stein's recent victory at the European Court of Human Rights is a cause of jubilation for many with EHS who have suffered similar fates at the hands of psychiatrists and their ilk. Please note below relevant postings on EHS being misdiagnosed as mental illness and the ensuing abuses of Human Rights that such misdiagnosis brings in its trail.

15/9/02 (Citizens' Initiative Omega -- via Google) "Another tragic misdiagnosis of an EHS sufferer who have been locked up and forcibly medicated"

19/09/02 (Citizens' Initiative Omega--via Google) "EMF & Schizophrenia"

5/7/03 (Citizens' Initiative Omega--via Google) "Human Rights violations applicable to EHS misdiagnosis"

13/12/03 (Citizens' Initiative Omega--via Google) "Open letter to Amnesty on EHS Human Rights abuses"

21/05/2005 "Everyone of us is part of a vast radiation experiment - result unknown"
(The author suggests in # 5 that "many EHS sufferers
(possibly as high as 50%) are believed to have been misdiagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia.")

21/05/2005 John Manweiler: Vindication for Human Rights Abuses in Mental Health (John was misdiagnosed, sectioned and involuntarily medicated)

Best, Imelda, Cork, Ireland

Critical Psychiatry Critical comment and debate about psychiatry
[ Critical Psychiatry Website's Message Board ]

Sensational verdict of the European Court of Human Rights IP: Posted on June 19, 2005 at 08:03:36 AM by rene


Dear Friends,

We are happy to announce that on thursday, June 16, the European Court of Human Rights arrived at the sensational verdict that Vera Stein, who in her youth was psychiatrically imprisoned and slandered as being "hebephrenic" [see note at end. I O'Connor], finally after more than 20 years of legal battle, was a victim of the crime of an illegal deprivation of her liberty in the psychiatric prison in Bremen!

This is an historic event because it is a victory on a European level at the highest court in Europe and therefore being influential for the judicial system in the whole of Europe.

For all German speaking readers, there is a livestream report here:

The part about the verdict beginns 3:30 minutes after the start of the video. In January 2000 our group helped to promote Vera Stein's case by leading the producers of a legal advice program in the First German TV channel, "ARD Ratgeber Recht" to her, which gave her case a lot of publicity in TV for the first time. You can see the report, which is still published by the channel as a live-stream:

(Please click on "Video zum Beitrag". After the film begins, it takes 1 minute until you can see Vera Stein speaking and her drawings, showing how she was tortured in psychiatry.)

Please snowball this important message on your privat e-mail lists and newsgroups!

The verdict is published by the International Association Against Psychiatric Assault ( //www.iaapa.ch ) in English here:

Rene Talbot Irren-Offensive (lunatic offensive) Berlin, Germany

[note: hebephrenia is defined as "A type of schizophrenia characterized by foolish mannerisms, senseless laughter, delusions, hallucinations, and regressive behavior." Also note that the writer, Rene Talbot, considers Vera Stein to have been "slandered" by being erronously defined/misdiagnosed as a hebephrenic. I also insisted in my written submissions that it was a most severe form of slander to wrongly diagnose a patient to be a person of unsound mind]

And below is a BBC news online report:

26 September 2005: 'Years locked in mental institution' Vera Stein, a German woman, describes a harrowing ordeal of being falsely imprisoned in a mental institution, tied to beds and given injections. She emerged from hospital a physical wreck, and will never recover fully from the effects of the drugs she was forced to take.

Forty-seven-year-old Vera Stein clambers into her electric wheelchair and drives into her spartanly decorated lounge.

Her disability is just one of the effects of mental health drugs that were pumped into her against her will.

This year Vera won compensation from the European Court of Human Rights, after it ruled that she had been illegally detained for years in clinics, despite being mentally healthy.

"I was nearly 19 years old, so I was an adult, when my father had me committed to a clinic in Bremen," she told me.

"I was put straight in a locked ward. The necessary court order was not obtained for this. I was given double measures of drugs to pacify me. They used physical force to inject me with 17 different types of drugs."

Under German law, to commit someone to a clinic they must either sign their consent, or a court order must be obtained. But in this case her father simply won the agreement of the health authorities to lock up his daughter.

In total, she spent nearly 20 years in institutions as a result of this. Worse still, her case is not unique.

"The mere possibility of withdrawing a person from legal life in co-operation with a psycho-medical system will always lead to abuse - and there we do have some problems," says psychiatrist Helmut Pollaehne.

He says the control mechanisms to prevent cases like Vera Stein's are not sufficient.

For example, he argues that so-called "visiting commissions" always announce their visits beforehand, weakening their control function - and warns that privatisation in the health sector makes it all the more important for the state to defend the rights of people who are in mental health institutions.

"Within the German legal system, this is a rare case because the victims of psychiatric power are not very successful in taking their case to the court," Dr Pollaehne said.

"But in terms of being a victim - I mean being a victim of the abuse of psychiatry - it was not a rare case in the 1970s and it's not a rare case nowadays."

Ms Stein is now a crusader against the use of psychiatry to lock people up.

"The association of German judges has also complained that forced incarceration, forced treatments, and violations of personal freedoms take place in a legal grey zone," she says.

She adds that a recent study at Goettingen University showed the number of people held in psychiatric clinics against their will has trebled in the last decade.

Country: Germany Organisation:
Source: BBC News Online, 23/09/2005

Excerpt below from "Another tragic misdiagnosis of an EHS sufferer who have been locked up and forcibly medicated" posted at Citizens Initiative Omega


15/9/02 (Citizens' Initiative Omega -- via Google) Another tragic misdiagnosis of an EHS sufferer who have been locked up and forcibly medicated Von: Imelda O'Connor ehsisreal@yahoo.co.uk

The EHS letter-writer lives in England.

" I had to move out of my flat (due to equipment the neighbour in the flat above me was using . . .It is this equipment which has triggered all my serious hypersensitivity problems. I found it increasingly hard to procure temporary accommodation . . . whilst I reached for suitable longer term accommodation. I therefore, eventually, reminded "my" G.P., the local authority housing departments (where I had been living)--and where I was then living temporarily, and social services that they had a legal obligation to assist anyone "homeless" for medical reasons. I was told (by social services and a doctor) that I could use a room at the hospital from which I would be free to come and go as I searched for long term accommodation. I pointed out that hospitals were not appropriate places for electrosensitive people (fluorescent lights, smoke sensors and other sensors, . . . ) and was told this was a "special" room in a "special part" of the hospital without the devices I was concerned about . .

.. However, I found that the room and ward in question were an ordinary hospital room and ward &, on my very first visit, I began to feel very unwell. I therefore thanked the "hospital" but explained that I would not be able to take up the offer of a room. Thereupon, seven thuggish members of staff were ordered to grab me and drag me down a corridor into a secure psychiatric unit (the "thugs" had been waiting for me in a room into which I had been asked to step). My arms were badly twisted (despite my shouting out that I have osteoporosis), my shoes were dragged off my feet (one shoe was broken in the process). I was covered in bruises & red marks on my skin. I was put on a __[this may be 9.2 but more likely, it is 5.2]. During this, a psychiatrist spent some four minutes with me in a courtyard & declared that because I could not use a phone I must be mentally ill, & put me on a section 2 (28 days). I was force medicated for a while (again very brutally). The psychiatrist in charge of my case saw me twice only (and only during a "review", with students and other people present), & "spoke" to me for some 5 minutes only on both occasions ( & did not in fact enter into any real conversation with me). The mental health reviews tribunal did nothing to help me, and simply endorsed the section (!) Whilst ___[avoiding] (as did, by now, the hospital) that I was electrosensitive the psychiatrist in question then wanted to put me onto a section 3 (up to 6 months & -- [repeatable] for life),--but needed agreement from an independent psychiatrist. When the first one failed to agree with her, a second one was dispatched---- [she] too, however, did not think that I should be placed on any section. By this time, the psychiatrist in que tion ran out of time (the 28 days had been served)--& I was released. Surviving under the numerous fluorescent light units, the smoke __sensors has been very difficult. . . .

Is there any way I can protect myself legally from any repeat of my appalling experiences re. sectioning?"

And to turn to current "reforms" in Ireland of psychiatry and making some amends for long decades of psychiatric abuse. Despite John Manweiler's wonderful legal win some months ago(an Irish jury awarded him the highest monetary award ever), the report in last Thursday's THE IRISH TIMES (see below) paints a gloomy picture of obstructions and general lack of cooperation among Irish psychiatrists to engage in reforms. While this profession has destroyed many people's lives it is now showing no great willingness to make amends and join the Irish tribunals newly set up to review involuntary detention and forced medication. Even Tim O'Malley, the Irish minister of State with responsibility for mental health has found their lack of coperation appalling: "People who are detained against their will for psychiatric care and treatment are among the most vulnerable in our society in terms of their human rights. It is completely unacceptable that those who should be the guardians of those rights, their treating consultants, are the ones who are obstructing reform."


"NEGOTIATIONS ON MENTAL HEALTH PANELS FOUNDER [by] Carl O'Brien, Social Affairs Correspondent

The Mental Health Commission, independent watchdog for the mental health sector, will seek to recruit consultant psychiatrists from abroad to take part in review panels for involuntarily detained patients after talks with the main representative body for Irish consultants broke down yesterday.

Negotiations have been taking place for almost a year between health authorities, the commission and the Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) on plans to set up mental health tribunals to help safeguard the rights of thousands of patients detained against their will in psychiatric institutions.

More than 3,000 psychiatric patients are involuntarily detained in psychiatric hospitals each year. Ireland has one of the highest rates of involuntary detention in Europe - a source of concern for human rights campaigners and patient support groups.

These tribunals, which will review all decisions by consultants to involuntarily detain patients, will consist of three members: a chairperson, who must be a lawyer, a consultant psychiatrist and a lay member.

While lawyers and lay people have been recruited, the IHCA has instructed members not to apply for the positions.

The IHCA says consultants need greater staffing back-up to be able to adhere to very strict timescales accompanying the new tribunals. Failure to adhere to the codes may leave consultants or clinical directors liable to fines of up to €1,500 or two years in jail.

Following the expiry of a deadline set for agreement on staffing the tribunals yesterday, the commission's chief executive, Brid Clarke, yesterday told The Irish Times that the delays were undermining the rights of almost 3,000 psychiatric patients involuntarily detained in hospitals each year.

As a result, she said it intended to re-advertise for consultant psychiatrists to the mental health tribunals.

"We will be advertising within Ireland and internationally and will be providing applicants with the opportunity of full-time/part-time appointments and engagement on a sessional and case-by-case basis," she said.

Minister of State with responsibility for mental health Tim O'Malley expressed his "deep frustration" at the actions of consultants who were "obstructing reform".

"People who are detained against their will for psychiatric care and treatment are among the most vulnerable in our society in terms of their human rights," he said. "It is completely unacceptable that those who should be the guardians of those rights, their treating consultants, are the ones who are obstructing reform."

He said offers of greater resources had been made to consultants, but their stance was "baffling" and cast doubt on their willingness to co-operate with the proposed reforms.

The IHCA and other consultant representative bodies say the mental health sector is understaffed and that not enough clinical back up is available for them to participate in the tribunals.

They point to the recent Inspector of Mental Health Services report, which recommended establishing the equivalent of up to 27 consultants posts, according to estimates by consultants.

It is understood that in talks on tribunals, the Health Service Executive proposed 13 new consultant posts, with the support of junior medical staff and other professionals, at an estimated cost of €6-€10 million."

© The Irish Times


Vera Stein: Als Wrack aus der Psychiatrie entlassen

Der am Donnerstag 17.1. 08 in der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung auf Seite 9 erschienene Bericht über Waltraud Storck, alias "Vera Stein" und deren Fortsetzung des Prozesses, nachdem sie beim Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte Recht bekommen hat, wurde inzwischen von der FAZ vollständig hier veröffentlicht: //www.faz.net/s/Rub8E1390D3396F422B869A49268EE3F15C/Doc~EEC4A6ED506504567B210DA48C31C1ADC~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html

Außerdem sind uns folgende Berichte bekannt geworden: //www.giessener-anzeiger.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=3369576&template=d_artikel_import&_adtag=localnews&_zeitungstitel=1133842&_dpa= und: //www.fr-online.de/frankfurt_und_hessen/nachrichten/hessen/?sid=27623141cd9961284b7b03d4b235826f&em_cnt=1272405 //www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/0,1518,528786,00.html

Eine Mitteilung des Werner-Fuß-Zentrum
im Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte
Greifswalder Str. 4
10405 Berlin


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