Restrictive practices no restraint on humane treatment
9 January 2014
Queensland Law Society today welcomed proposed amendments to the Disability Services Act 2006 concerning the treatment of adults with intellectual or cognitative disabilities.
The proposed amendments affect the administration surrounding the use of restrictive practices, which can involve physical and chemical restraints. These include physical confinement, clothing that restricts mobility or constant sedation.
“Under current legislation there is no requirement for a service provider to set out how or why restrictive practices are to be used,” Queensland Law Society Immediate Past President Annette Bradfield said.
“The proposed amendments ensure that there is more transparency with the use of these practices.
“This addresses previous concerns that the patients’ support network were not involved with the restrictive practices plan.
“Queensland Law Society supports legislation that is fair and just and that does not unnecessarily impinge on the rights and liberties of individuals.
“The proposed amendments emphasise the importance of effective monitoring and accountability in dealing with at-risk members of the community.
“Involving the adult’s family and doctor is an important step in improving transparency in the treatment process.
“We need to humanely treat the community’s most vulnerable, balanced with any risk they pose to themselves or others.
“We are grateful to the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services for the opportunity to consult on these amendments and look forward to further collaboration.
“Early consultation is always the key to good law.”