Diagnosed with Schizophrenia

Michael is a 40-year-old mathematician who lives in Brisbane. He has a full-time job, a partner, Kelly, and two daughters. Michael was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a 21-year-old university student, but has, with the care of his loving parents and partner, consistently managed his condition with the assistance of a regular medication regime under the ongoing care of a psychiatrist, Dr John Nash. Michael has not been hospitalised as a result of his condition for 19 years.

Kelly and Michael were at a Laserforce game venue two days ago, playing with their daughters, when Kelly noticed that Michael was acting very anxious and agitated. Michael told Kelly that the employees of the Laserforce venue were foreign intelligence agents who were trying to control his thoughts by playing music in the venue at exceedingly high volume.

Michael had been working on a very politically sensitive coding project for the government and told Kelly that the employees were trying to steal the coding algorithm which Michael had developed and memorised as part of his work.

Michael abruptly exited the venue and ran across a busy highway where he started to flag down cars to help him leave the area urgently. After searching for Michael for a few hours, and alerting Michael’s parents, Kelly returned home with their daughters and checked Michael’s pill organizer.

It appeared that Michael had not taken his medication for the previous three days. Kelly has not seen Michael since he left the Laserforce venue. Earlier today, Michael arrived at his psychiatrist’s office unannounced. Dr Nash had been alerted to Michael’s behaviour by Kelly.

Michael appears very unkempt and is carrying a baseball bat underneath his hoodie. He tells Dr Nash that he is being followed and asks Dr Nash if he too is trying to steal the coding algorithm from Michael’s brain. Dr Nash’s consulting rooms are based at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, and he discreetly asks his receptionist to alert security while he escorts Michael into his office. Dr Nash asks Michael about his medication and Michael explains it is poisoning his mind, so he has stopped it.

Michael pulls the baseball bat from under his hoodie and starts brandishing it at Dr Nash. Security arrive and forcibly restrain Michael. Dr Nash authorises a treatment authority for Michael under Section 12 of the Mental Health Act 2016 (Qld).

The treatment authority permits the chemical restraint of Michael through the prescribing of Clozapine (a strong anti-psychotic medication with sedative effects) and his seclusion in a locked room for four hours until the medication has taken effect.

Michael screams at Dr Nash and the registered nurse in charge of the mental health facility that he does not consent to this treatment. Raj is the registered nurse in charge of the mental health facility.

Michael tells Raj that he is being held against his will. Kelly arrives at the mental health facility 45 minutes later and is distressed to hear that her partner has been locked up and sedated. Kelly demands to see Michael and for his immediate release from the facility into her care at home. Apply the ethical and legal decision-making framework to this scenario

 

 

  1. Identify
    1. Issue: 
    2. Parties: 
  2. Evaluate
    1. Ethical principles

[discuss what each ethical principle is AND your application of them to the facts]

  1. Code of Ethics 

[insert elements from the ICN Code of Ethics AND your application of them to the facts]

  1. Law

[set out the law AND apply it to your facts here]

  1. Action
    1. Code of Conduct

[insert principles from the Code of Conduct AND your application of them to the facts]

  1. Options for Action 
  • [insert dot points OR a paragraph here]
  1. Implementation
  • [insert dot points OR a paragraph here]
  1. Assess Outcomes 
  • [insert dot points OR a sentence here]

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