Parents have to advocate for their disabled children for ever - it never stops. Here's another Nelson father's story about his son's poor care http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/81011893/father-battles-for-intellectually-disabled-sons-welfare-after-14-years?cid=facebook.post.81011893
Kirsty Johnston secures most recent Crimes of Torture Act report including Ombudsman's comments.
The Capital & Coast District Health Board released a copy tonight, including comments from Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier about Ashley's situation.
"I consider this client's living situation to be cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment for the purpose of the Convention Against Torture," Judge Boshier said.
Ashley's parents said they hoped it would push the health board to move Ashley to a community setting without delay.
"I feel like at last someone is believing what we are telling them," Ashley's mum Marlena Peacock said. "It is great to hear such strong words from the Chief Ombudsman."
Green Party health spokesman Kevin Hague, who has been advocating for Ashley to be transitioned from the centre, said the message to health authorities was cut and dry.
"It's an absolute condemnation from the most authoritative source in New Zealand," he said. "I think the health board's performance has been utterly woeful. The minister can, and should intervene."
Story led RNZ 8 am news.
Shows that activist networks, once established, can be effective and tenacious. I suspect we are collecting important allies along the way.
Radio NZ. Ashley today
My theory is that that the authorities are scared of autism and Ashley's expression of it, which they see as extreme and rare. They see a person dangerous to himself and others - so he has to remain locked up, in some misguided idea that that will keep him and others safe. What they don't seem to recognise is that the cause of his behaviours is the long term incarceration behind a locked door as well as years of untreated dental pain.
There are probably dozens of people with autism like Ashley'sin NZ but they are living with families or in residential services. Their families and communities recognise and know how to manage or avoid meltdowns. They also have access to activities they enjoy.
I think the authorities should apologise to Ashley and his parents, find him suitable stand alone accommodation in a more appropriate environment, and provide him as compensation with an assistance dog to help with his de-institutionalisation.
Hapless Minister being incorrectly advised by MoH that Ashley is getting best possible care.
A report from Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier said his living situation was cruel, inhuman, and degrading, and he should be urgently moved.
However, Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga said the ministry had reassured him Mr Peacock was being cared for in the best way possible.
He also said the 38-year-old was being held in seclusion for an average of just an hour a day.
Mr Lotu-liga said the safety of Mr Peacock and the people around him was paramount.
'Safety' is not a life worth living.
Hapless Minister being incorrectly advised by MoH
Instead of crawling under the bus, Sam should start questioning what he is told and randomly checking things out for himself. A visit to see the room and facility in which Ashley is held and to read the log showing how much time he has spent there would be a good start. His experience with corrections gives him an excellent basis for comparison. There's no way a Minister can retain his mana if he allows advisors to get away with blatantly misleading him.
Mr Lotu-liga said the safety of Mr Peacock and the people around him was paramount.
There's a risk here in that it would be a simple matter for Ashley to be released into an unsuitable environment, or care, resulting in badly managed meltdown. That would then be used as an "I told you so" to attempt to justify his lengthy incarceration, maybe even return him to it. Do you think they would stoop so low?
No. And that's a problem. Agencies and regulators must be supported to take more risks than they currently reckon they can.
Lifting their sights to outcomes rather than outputs was meant to help. Same timid feckers, sadly. Requires new skills and/or new people.
They are not listening to people who know him or know about autism. Just people who observe him as a highly anxious incarcerated 'case'.
Experts point out some of the structural failures involved in this situation.
Kevin Hague calls for an inquiry. His press statement shows he understands the issues. http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/green-party-wants-urgent-inquiry-into-mental-health-failings-2016061908#axzz4ByZfYdPZ
They are not listening to people who know him or know about insert diagnosis
A problem endemic in Ministry of Health disability provision. I suspect ACC does it better. Certainly there is a lot of room for improvement.
Jacinda Ardern links Teina Pora and all the others incarcerated with neurodisabilities. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/81136386/Jacinda-v-David-Teina-Pora-case-has-much-to-teach-us
Kirsty's latest update: Judge Boshier challenges the DHB. http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11659430
Yes, let's see if this gets the attention of the Ministry and the DHB.
Lawyer Tony Ellis said the ombudsman's latest declaration meant there was "plainly" a civil case to be made under the Bill of Rights Act if the family decided to take one.
Do your job, clowns.
Cost too much for family to take case unless someone did it pro bono.
Lawyer Tony Ellis said the ombudsman’s latest declaration meant there was “plainly” a civil case to be made under the Bill of Rights Act if the family decided to take one.
The Human Rights Commission may have a part to play here. Breaches of human rights are their bread and butter.
Giovanni Tiso on seeking accountability for Ashley's situation http://bat-bean-beam.blogspot.co.nz/2016/06/someone-should-be-going-to-jail.html
Giovanni Tiso on seeking accountability for Ashley's situation...
Thank you. I found the video link provided by eileen macatee in her comment there highly educational.
Must be the season for it.... parents of boy with Down Syndrome told 'you're on your own.'
When this little shit storm broke, the resulting discussions suggested that if parents chose to continue a pregnancy knowing the baby had a disability they should not expect the state to support them and their 'mistakes'....
Looks like the the seeds took root....
Kia kaha, Mikkelsen family.
I'm not surprised by this. I have heard from OTs at other DHBs that their funds are very limited and there is great pressure on OTs not to provide equipment - which is unethical as well as unfair. I imagine that the situation here was that a manager said we can't fund it and cut it, and that wasn't helped by poor communication. This is just another symptom of an increasingly underfunded health system.
What really, really distresses me is that this family, who are at the start of their disability journey, are going to have a harder time sourcing supports than those who have been battling the system seemingly forever.
How the hell have we let this happen?
I recall Brian Easton saying (for the Atkinson case) words to the effect that if that is what it costs to support eligible people...then so be it.
BUT...I suspect that he was idling under the illusion that disabled Kiwis (not supported by ACC) have actual entitlements.
We really need to find a way of turning this around.
I'd add to the previous post that we are not very good at demanding our 'rights'.
I know ACC funded disabled who honestly believe they have rights and entitlements and approach ACC with that attitude. They are backed up by legislation and any number of wriggly arsed lawyers who will defend their rights and entitlements.
Non-ACC disabled entered into a twelve year process to establish the 'right' to an adequate level of funded care and the 'right' to have a family member paid to provide that assessed care....and look where we ended up.
A clear message from the government that MOH:DSS disabled have no rights and entitlements and we will punish you harshly if you have the audacity to demand any.
It points to unaddressed deep cultural/moral assumptions about who 'deserves' to have rights and who doesn't. Otherwise, how we *become* disabled would be irrelevant. Activist Wendi Wicks has compared it with our old UK-derived notions of the 'deserving poor'.
If we do not name and unpack for enough of the public those silent underpinnings, no amount of lawyering will move governments. It's a long fight.