MPs call for law change to reduce detention of young autistic people

“Report says mental health law is blighting rights of those with learning disabilities”

PA Media reports in The Guardian newspaper that:

“Mental health legislation must be overhauled to stop the ‘horrific’ and inappropriate detention of young people with autism or learning disabilities, MPs [Members of Parliament] have said.

The human rights of many young people are being breached in mental health hospitals, causing their lives to be “needlessly blighted” and their families to suffer, a report has found.

Parliament’s joint committee on human rights said it had “lost confidence that the system is doing what it says it is doing and the regulator’s method of checking is not working”.

It is calling for criteria governing detentions under the Mental Health Act to be narrowed to protect people from the ‘horrific reality’ of conditions and treatment.

The Labour MP Harriet Harman, the chairwoman of the committee, said: ‘This inquiry has shown with stark clarity the urgent change that is needed and we’ve set out simple proposals for exactly that. They must now be driven forward, urgently.

‘It has been left to the media and desperate, anguished parents to expose the brutal reality of our system of detention of people with learning disabilities or autism. We must not look away.’ …”

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