News State Victoria News Panel rejects ‘secret agent’ schizophrenic’s bid to avoid involuntary treatment

Panel rejects ‘secret agent’ schizophrenic’s bid to avoid involuntary treatment

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The unnamed patient must continue with his treatment regime, the panel ruled Photo: Getty
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A schizophrenic man who argued his right to freedom of movement and liberty were being breached has failed in a bid to be released as an involuntary patient in Melbourne.

The man applied to the Victorian Civil and Appeals Tribunal (VCAT) after the Mental Health Tribunal decided in December he be subject to a 26-week in-patient period of treatment at Sunshine Hospital.

The man prepared a video for his hearing with VCAT senior member Brendan Hoysted, in which he described himself as “General” and an “agent working undercover”.

“He promoted what he saw as solutions to world problems. He showed me correspondence from himself to government ministers and leaders of countries and the responses he had received,” Mr Hoysted said in his findings released on Friday.

A consultant said the man believed he was responsible for preventing world wars, and had acted on his delusions by phoning police, ambulance and defence agencies to provide “warnings and advice”.

The consultant added the man had previously tried to jump out of a moving vehicle and had medication to stabilise his mood.

Mr Hoysted was satisfied a less restrictive means was not available to enable the man to receive immediate treatment.

The consultant deemed as necessary a treatment order compelling the man to take antipsychotic medication.

Mr Hoysted found the man needed immediate treatment to prevent “serious deterioration in his mental and physical state and to prevent serious harm to another person”.

He acknowledged while the man’s rights to freedom of movement and liberty were limited by the treatment order, the restrictions on his rights were lawful, “proportionate to his circumstances”.

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