Welcome to our first online discussion forum on the subject of RMN’s possible conscientious objection to enforced treatment.
Scroll down to take part in the discussion! We focussed on the 15th, 16th and 17th of Oct, but you can read what was written and still contribute if you wish.
(But perhaps read these paragraphs first, if you haven’t already).
Welcome if you are from the UK, Ireland or further afield. We especially want to welcome our many readers in Australia, New Zealand, The USA and Canada (we know from our website stats that you are out there!) and also from anywhere else (this website is viewed from over 40 countries). Please feel free to contribute about the similarities and differences in your experiences.
The idea is to have our discussion in as open a way as possible, collecting together everyone’s thoughts and the themes that develop. We hope that the document that emerges will be exciting and something to feel proud of as a rather unusual piece of nursing and social history. Our suggestion is that if you wish to remain anonymous that you create an online username for yourself before contributing. As with anything on the internet this is not a confidential space. This conversation is not limited to nurses. You are welcome to take part whatever your experience is of this issue. All you need to do is to ‘reply’ to this page (from today at 8pm).
Comments on this website must go through a brief moderation process (one of the editors has to click an ‘accept’ button). Your posts will therefore not appear immediately. This will only be used to ensure that comments are not personal attacks; we will not censor ideas otherwise. You are very welcome to explore reasons why you think that nurses should not have this right. We suggest that you contribute as thoughtfully as you can but in a conversational style rather than with a series of long essays! We also think that critical thinking requires emotional work. Please feel free to share some of that here: what is it like for you to take part in this discussion?
Remember! The aim is not to establish whether forced treatment is finally right or wrong, or whether MHNs should or should not object. Instead, we need to consider whether certain issues and concerns make it reasonable that a mental health nurse could view this as a matter of conscience.
After this discussion we will have a number of options. It might be that we feel it should go no further. It might be that we want to publish the resulting document in some way other than here on this website. Perhaps we will want to create a video that explains the various ideas that arise. Perhaps we will need to create a list of questions to which at present none of us know the answers. If we do collectively decide that we should campaign for the right to conscientiously object there will be a lot of thinking to do about how to organise that campaign. We would like as many people as possible to continue to be involved and shape what happens next.
Disclaimer: At the present time, the Critical Mental Health Nurses’ Network does not recommend for any mental health nurse to claim that they have a right to conscientious objection from taking part in enforced treatment. You do not have that right at present.