Thursday, 6 October 2011

Positive attitudes towards human rights

I have just been reading the excellent 'Paul Sieghart Memorial Lecture' (2004) by Baroness Hale, on the topic of Human Righsts and Mental Health. Hale makes some really key points and speaks in some detail about the need for positive attitudes towards human rights.

With reference to research carried out by Jenny Watson of the British Insitute of Human Rights (pub. 2002) hale argued that "a great deal of what goes on in hospitals and care homes betrays a lack of proper respect for patients' and residents' privacy and autonomy."

I am very much inclined to agree with Hale here. In particular  I concur fully with her opinion that "promoting a positive attitude to rights could be a much more effective way of attaining proper standards than the big stick of criminal or civil liability, or even the care standards act..."

Speaking specifically about Mental Health care, Hale suggests that "if everyone in the mental health and community care services were imbuded with an committed to those [human rights] values, I am sure it would do much more...than any number of cases in the courts."

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to certain individuals in our government (Cameron, Theresa May) and certain newspapers any credibility the Human Rights Act once had with the general populace now seems to have been well and truly destroyed. Of course, we are all very fortunate in the UK that we don't have to worry about our human rights on a daily basis. Using ridiculous (and untrue) examples to mock the HRA is a very serious and incredibly harmful approach.

    Our government should look at the international picture. Human rights are essential and we, as a civilised, democratic society should stop undermining their value and start appreciating the fact that lives are being improved tremendously and in some instances saved by human rights legislation.