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Human Rights Watch Report reinforces need to disallow legislative instrument regulating aged care restraints

The Human Rights Watch Fading Away  - How Aged Care Facilities in Australia Chemically Restrain Older People with Dementia report has called on the Government to end the use of chemical restraints as a means of controlling the behaviour of older people in aged care.
 
The Australian Greens have moved to disallow the Quality of Care Amendment (Minimising the Use of Restraints) Principles 2019 which is the legislative instrument regulating the use of chemical restraints in aged care facilities. The report reinforces the need to rethink the approach in the new regulation.
 
Under the current instrument, there is a requirement to seek informed consent before approving a physical restraint, but no requirement to seek informed consent before prescribing a chemical restraint which violates human rights.
 
“The Government is not doing enough to protect people in aged care facilities despite the well documented, wide spread use of chemical restrains which is why I am seeking the support of the Senate to scrap this regulation so we can better address this issue and get something that will actually work, and which puts human rights first, Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Ageing said.
 
“The Government needs to read this report and act on the recommendations of Human Rights Watch.
 
“The use of physical or chemical restraints for control, punishment, retaliation or as a measure of convenience should be prohibited. Medicines should only ever be used for therapeutic purposes and with the free and informed consent of the person receiving them or their nominee.  
 
“Australia should be moving to reduce and eliminate the use of restraints in aged care. 
 
“The instrument was subject to limited stakeholder consultation. Several stakeholders recommended that any legislative instrument regulating restraints in aged care must be subject to wide public consultation that engages with states and territories, statutory public guardians and advocates, older people and disabled people living in aged care facilities."

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