PRIVACY CONCERNS:DPP Legislator Wang Jung-chang said that if mental illness records are shared among government agencies, people might forgo treatment
Date: Apr 02, 2016
By: Abraham Gerber and Sean Lin / Staff reporters
The alleged forced hospitalization by the Taipei City Government of a homeless man on
Thursday drew criticism yesterday, with groups saying moves to increase monitoring of people with mental illness could be a breach of privacy rights and could discourage them from seeking treatment.
A man surnamed Ting (丁), nicknamed “Wobble-wobble Man” (搖搖哥) for his distinctive gait by students of National Chengchi University, where he is often seen, was shown being forced into an ambulance in video footage posted online on Thursday.
“Even if he has a mental illness, if there is no concern that he will harm himself or others, he should not be consigned to hospital,” Taiwan Association for Human Rights deputy chairman Weng Kuo-yan (翁國彥) said.
“He was known to students for years and never sought to do anything that would harm anyone,” Weng said, adding that the association was seeking a judicial review to overturn the city’s decision, which he said breached the Mental Health Act (精神衛生法).
Any loosening of regulations governing forced hospitalization should be ruled out given the government’s abuse of its existing powers, Weng said. [FULL STORY]