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Should people who are incarcerated in mental hospitals be deprived of the right to smoke?
Should the priority, when it comes down to the treatment of mental illness, be the attempt to make mentally ill patients as comfortable as possible? Or to get them to quit smoking?
After all, before they are hit by a car, or murdered on the streets, or jump off a cliff.... they might run the risk of dying of smoking-related disorders.
Where should the priority lie? To enforce the Ontario (McWynne) Liberals Smoke-Free Ontario Act? Or to making whatever remnants of the shattered lives of these people more bearable?
How difficult would it be to give mentally ill smokers an area in which they could puff away without being subject to incarceration or other authoritarian sanctions, not because it has anything to do with their underlying illnesses, but because it violates the McWynne NO SMOKING edicts?
Why am I so angry about this right now?
Why do I ask these questions?
Because a person I love very dearly is currently confined to his room, and a short corridor in a mental hospital, not because his mental condition has changed, (even though his mental condition HAS changed, for the worse, because he's been locked up. My mental condition would change too. So would yours.)
I asked one of the people at the desk, during my last visit,
"Why is he being kept locked in that corridor?"
The answer was, more or less, "Well, he has been caught leaving the ward and smoking cigarettes, he was even caught smoking cigarettes in the bathroom, and that could be very dangerous."
Yeah, smoking in the bathroom is dangerous.
Why?
Because there are a whole bunch of flammable materials in there?
Because mental patients might light the paper towels on fire?
Because a passing health care worker might get a whiff of "deadly" second-hand smoke and die of a sudden heart attack?
Nope. It's because of "policy."
I think the policy should be changed.
Why don't you give the poor bastards a place where they can  smoke?
After that, you can spend your time actually trying to help these people, instead of enforcing authoritarian edicts.

Comments

  1. It was so much more simpler when we were growing up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Quitting smoking is one of the toughest most mentally and emotionally challenging things one can go through in life. For whatever reason some people are getting mental and emotional illnesses at an alarming rate these days. Now forcing someone in an already fragile state to quit smoking at the same time is like forcing someone with 2 broken legs to walk to the bathroom.
    Disgusting!

    ReplyDelete

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