HCLU Wins Lawsuit Against the Forensic Institute for the Observation and Treatment of the Mentally Ill (FIOTM)

As we have reported, a client represented by the HCLU has recently started prodeedings against the Forensic Institute for the Observation and Treatment of the Mentally Ill (FIOTM), to have the courts determine: the FIOTM has violated his personal rights, when they placed him in an institution without a non-smoking ward and subjected him to unnecessary therapy.

The first instance decision in this lawsuit only found part of the charges valid, but later on February 16th, the Metropolitan Court in its second instance decision found all charges valid and also determined the violation of rights. For the HCLU the decision is important because it states that the FIOTM also has to abide by the laws of healthcare regarding therapy, especially concerning the principles of informed consent.

Our client was taken to FIOTM from pre-trial detention but not due to pschycological symptoms. There, despite being a non-smoker and objecting to such treatment, he was placed in a ward with smokers. During the lawsuit the first instance decision clearly stated that FIOTM, although bound by the laws of healthcare and protection of non-smokers, does not possess hospital-wards where non-smokers can be placed. This means that on the premises of the institution the smoking areas are not designated - there is simply no place where non-smokers can exist in a smoke-free environment.

In accordance with the second degree final court decision the institution is obligated to eliminate the ongoing situation. These efforts will be monitored closely by the HCLU.

During the time spent at FIOTM, our client, despite the documentation of his medical record and his continuous objection, was subject to therapy which should not have been medically administered. After becoming ill, he was promised not to be subject to this type of therapy again. Two days later the therapy was repeated, despite the continuous objections of our client. The court, after hearing evidence determined the therapy to be a violation of human rights.

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