BC Schizophrenia Society (BCSS), along with other schizophrenia societies and mental illness organizations, have been closely monitoring what the Canadian government will be recommending related to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).
Overall, BCSS recognizes that the UN CRPD is important in safeguarding the rights of persons with disabilities. However, one of the general comments and recommendations highly discriminates against people living with serious mental illness. It places them in the precarious position of potentially being criminalized for actions done while they are in psychosis.
This particular comment, if pursued, could lead to the elimination of involuntary treatment – resulting in the potential people with serious mental illness who suffer from anosognosia to remain untreated. In turn, this would cause undue harm to the person themselves, those closest to them, and members in their community.
We’ll continue to update you on what’s happening at the provincial and federal government level. In the meantime, here are some articles and links which address some of the same issues and concerns raised by BCSS.
- Dufour, Mathieu, et al. Position Statement: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Canadian Psychiatric Association, 2020.
- Dufour, Mathieu, Hastings, Thomas, O’Reilly, Richard. “Canada Should Retain Its Reservation on the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 2018.
- Freeman, Melvyn Colin, et al. “Reversing hard won victories in the name of human rights: a critique of the General Comment on Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” Lancet Psychiatry 2, 2015; 844-50.
- Letter from BC Schizophrenia Society & Schizophrenia Society of Saskatchewan to Prime Minster Justin Trudeau; January 2020.