Statement by the Mecklenburg-Pomerania State parliament dated, May, 11, 2017

Dear Mr. Discher,

The Ministry of Economy, Labour and Health was asked for its position during the investigation of the facts of the case and the relevant legal bases. This statement was received by the Secretariat by letter dated 02/05/2017. It will serve as a basis for the forming of positions in the Committee. Therefore, I would like to inform you of the contents of the letter below.

The Ministry explained that the parliamentary work you requested on the subjects you described was not necessary because you were assuming that the basic assumptions or allegations were false, or at the very least exaggerated and distorted.

The ministry further stated that contrary to your opinion, psychiatry in Germany is by no means characterized by the abuse of power, inhumane treatment or torture and psychiatric forced treatment. On the contrary, psychiatry is subject to strict legal requirements and state supervision. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, committing people with mental illnesses is regulated in the law on assistance and protective measures for people with mental illnesses (Psychischkrankengesetz – PsychKG M-V). This law conclusively regulates the restrictions to which people with mental illnesses committed to psychiatric institutions may be subjected, which rights they have and how treatment is administered. All measures are documented and are subject to judicial review. The possibility of judicial review would be expressly mentioned to people with mental illnesses already at the beginning of their commitment to the psychiatric institution. In this respect, psychiatric care and placement satisfies all the principles of the rule of law.

This applies in particular also to the aforementioned compulsory medical measure. This was permissible only under the conditions specified in the law. In addition, it was subject to judicial approval in order to protect the rights of people with mental illnesses who were committed there.

The treatment of people with mental illnesses who are committed to psychiatric hospitals is itself subject to the rules of medical treatment in psychiatry; that is, as is the case with any other medical treatment, to treat the illness and enable patients to lead a self-determined life free of complaints.

With regard to the patients you mentioned by name, the Ministry pointed out that it could not comment on them, since Mr. Michael Perez was not known to the Ministry and there was no declaration of consent with regard to Mr. Ernest Tenenbaum. The Ministry noted, however, that it was in close contact with all parties involved in the committment with regard to Mr. Ernest Tenenbaum.

That is the extent of the position before the Committee on Petitions.

This position of the administration is taken into account by the Members together with your letter in order to reach a decision. I shall give you the opportunity to reply in advance. If, in your opinion, the presentation of the authorities is incomplete, incorrect or misleading, or if you need to add anything else (e.g. a new state of affairs), please inform the secretariat of the Committee on Petitions within four weeks.

With kind regards

(Sylke Pulow)

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