It’s a matter of last days Lazio Region President Polverini’s decree on Lazio hospital system: the number of beds in Psychiatric Institutions raise from 369 up to 629; more 70%.
50 beds for the public structure and 210 for the private structure trigger the chronicization circuit.
260 beds = 90.000 life days subtracted to the people at the cost of 10.000.000 €.
Didn’t the Basaglia Law foresee the closing up of madhouses?
Reported below are only a few emblematic cases reported from the press, television and internet, regarding the Italian situation of psychiatry.
27 October 2005: RICCARDO RASMAN dies during a coercive treatment by the policemen, for a hospitalization against his will, in a psychiatric ward in Trieste.
21 June 2006: GIUSEPPE CASU dies in a psychiatric ward in the hospital “Santissima Trinità” of Cagliari, as a consequence of a thromboembolism, after a forced hospitalization. He was tied hands and feet to the bed, for 7 days and was sedated with high doses of psychiatric drugs against his will.
28 August 2006: A.S., the 17th of August 2006 is admitted to the psychiatric ward in Palermo, for medical investigations. A.S. died after 2 days coma, the 28th of August, probably for excessive doses of psychiatric drugs.
26 May 2007: EDMOND IDEHEN, a 38 years old Nigerian man, went voluntarily into the psychiatric ward of Bologna’s hospital “Istituto Psichiatrico Ottonello – Ospedale Maggiore Bologna”. As he tried to leave the hospital, the doctors forced him to stay, with the help from policemen. EDMOND IDEHEN died as a consequence of a hearth attack while nurses and policemen held him down. He was also strongly sedated with psychiatric drugs.
12 June 2006: ROBERTO MELINO, 24 years old, dies for a hearth attack; he entered voluntarily the psychiatric ward of Empoli’s “San Giuseppe” hospital. As he tried to leave the hospital, he was forced to stay by the doctors, and obliged to take high doses of psychiatric drugs, in spite of his evident and serious breath difficulties.
15 June 2008: GIUSEPPE UVA, 43 years old, was brought inside a police station, because he was driving in state of high alcoholic level. There he was subjected to ill-treatments. After 3 hours he was forced to an obligatory hospitalization in the Varese’s “Circolo” hospital and was forced to take psychiatric drugs. He died because of the stress provoked by the mix of alcohol and psychiatric drugs.
30 August 2010: LAURETANA LO COCO, 32 years old, entered voluntarily in Termini Imerese’s “Salvatore Cimino” hospital. After 10 days of hospitalization her condition got worse, till she got into a comatose state and died.
4 August 2009: FRANCESCO MASTROGIOVANNI, 58 years old, a well liked teacher, died in consequence of a forced hospitalization, in a hospital of Vallo della Lucania. He was in a touristic village, where he was on holiday. Nobody knows the reason of the forced hospitalization. During the 80 hours hospitalization he was nourished only with saline solutions; he was tied hands and feet to the bed, in such a position that his respiratory functions where compromised, and he was sedated with high doses of psychiatric drugs, without supervision from the staff. At wrists and ankles there are 4 cm wide grazes.
Giuseppe D.: A man, more than 70 years old, was interned in Reggio Emilia’s psychiatric prison. His problem was that the neighbour’s daughter is a psychiatrist. His lawyer took a legal action to the European Court of human Rights, but until now there has been no answer, so the Pisa’s student group “Collettivo Antipsichiatrico Artaud”, together with “Telefono viola” from Milan, decided to release the documentation relating to this case in Internet, according with Giuseppe D.’s will, his lawyer, and his relatives.
2 April 2010: ERIC BEAMONT, 37 years old, the 2 April 2010 was hospitalized in Lamezia. After 2 days he entered coma, so the doctors transferred him to the Catanzaro’s “Pugliese – Ciaccio” hospital, where he died. There is the suspect that the death of Eric was caused from a high dose of benzodiazepine. Diagnosis was: subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Here below we report some data extracted from the text of the parliamentary relation on the June 2010 inspection of the 6 Italian psychiatric prisons still active. After the 1978 “Basaglia law”, madhouses had to be closed, but the 6 psychiatric prisons mentioned above keep doing the same job.
The regulations and logics that manage these psychiatric prisons (OPG), are the same inherited by the fascist Rocco Code (1934). Now that the heirs of that Code are back to the power of Government, they want to put their hands on the 1978 “Basaglia law” (law 180), that abolished madhouses.
40 % of the 1500 actual convicted should already have been released, for detention terms expired, but they see their penalty end terms deferred in order of their supposed social dangerousness.
Nine people each cell, dirty bathrooms and bed sheets; dirty nurses’ gowns as well.
In Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto (Messina), 329 convicted are owercrowded in cells built in 1914. Dirt everywhere. One patient was found naked, tied up to his bed, with a haematoma on his head.
Aversa, built in 1898. 320 people locked up six by cell, in inhuman conditions.
NAS (Antisofistication and health nucleus of carabinieres) reported and denounced all this to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, but this office is often made by the same persons that sentence patients to life.
Secondigliano, the psychiatric prison is interior to the jail. Here stays since 25 years a patient who was sentenced two years. Burns and black eyes are not reported on the clinical diary. Feet and hands go gangrenous.
In Montelupo Fiorentino they are 170 in a very scruffy building.
In Reggio Emilia they are 274 where they should be 132. 3 showers serve 158 patients. One is tied up to his bed since 5 days for disciplinary reasons. 3 in 9 meters square.
“The OPG (psychiatric prison) are one of the “silence zones”, explains Alberto, of the Pisa Antipsychiatric Collective dedicated to Antonin Artaud, “and they show the political use of psychiatry. The consume of psychiatric drugs is more and more pushed, the electroshock comes back “in fashion”, perhaps to “heal” post partum depression. And a law lies in ambush in order to bring the forced hospitalization terms from 7 to 30 days”.
written by Erveda Sansi – november 2011
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