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Intervention designed to reduce the use of summary execution in acute psychiatric inpatient settings

Elsom, Stephen J., Gaskin, Cadeyrn J. and Roper, Cath 2007, Intervention designed to reduce the use of summary execution in acute psychiatric inpatient settings, Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. A301-A301, doi: 10.1080/00048670701724647.

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Title Intervention designed to reduce the use of summary execution in acute psychiatric inpatient settings
Author(s) Elsom, Stephen J.
Gaskin, Cadeyrn J.
Roper, Cath
Journal name Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry
Volume number 41
Issue number 2
Start page A301
End page A301
Publisher Informa Healthcare
Place of publication [Carlton, Vic.]
Publication date 2007-11
ISSN 0004-8674
1440-1614
Summary Context: Although it may seem preposterous to consider the need to reduce the use of summary executions in acute psychiatric inpatient settings because practitioners simply would not consider using such inhumane treatment, it is sobering that many mental health professionals do not hesitate to use seclusion.

Objectives: We draw attention to the assumption that underlies the thinking of many mental health professionals that seclusion is acceptable simply because it is available.

Key messages: The letter of the law (seclusion is legal) is frequently given precedence over the spirit of the law (seclusion should used as a method of last resort, if at all). The availability of seclusion as an intervention makes its use inevitable. Although sufficient checks and balances exist in society to prevent psychiatric staff from adding summary executions to their ‘‘treatment’’ paradigms, legislators need to set the bar much higher. Outside intervention, in the form of legislation, is needed because the mental health professions seem incapable of discontinuing the use seclusion despite evidence of the trauma it causes to both patients and staff and despite the lack of evidence that it achieves any desirable outcomes.

Conclusion: The use of seclusion is unacceptable and should be as impossible and unthinkable as summarily executing our patients. By the use of what would seem, at first glance, an absurd analogy between seclusion and summary execution we highlight the need for a shift in policy and legislation regarding the use of traumatising interventions.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/00048670701724647
Field of Research 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C2.1 Other contribution to refereed journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30018480

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Nursing and Midwifery
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 09:20:34 EST by Rachael Wilson

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