New Zealand: 350 more patients allege abuses

350 former psychiatric patients to seek compensation from government

Oct. 6 2006
New Zealand Radio

The lawyer for 350 former psychiatric patients seeking compensation from the government says there’s no difference between his clients and another set of patients who have already been paid substantial compensation.

The 350 claim they were mistreated at State-run mental asylums in the 1960s and 70s.

Their accounts of abuse are similar to those of former patients at the Lake Alice psychiatric hospital, who are sharing $6.5 million in compensation paid in 2001.

About 200 of the group have already lodged legal claims; and more are expected to do so, saying they suffered physical and sexual abuse. They also say electric shock treatment was used as a punishment.
Govt stance

The new group’s lawyer, Roger Chapman, says that puts the government in a tough position.

He says it’s difficult, morally, to defend a stand of this kind by a government that accepted that it had an obligation to the Lake Alice patients.

The cost of taking the claims through the courts will fall on the taxpayer through legal aid.

The first hearings are a year away, and Mr Chapman expects many more former patients will come forward in the meantime.

Comments (3)

joan bellinghamJune 19th, 2008 at 8:46 pm

I have had over 100 sessions of e.c.t. I hve permanent memory loss ,hepatitis. c thru possible unsterilized electrodes,burnt scalp,. the e.c.t. wasa used on me because of my sexuality.

AmeliaOctober 4th, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Hi there,

How do people go about applying for compensation for electric shock therapy?

Thanks!

joan bellinghamOctober 17th, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Hi there Amelia ,if you want to make an enquiry you get in touch with Roger Chapman

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