In Austria something substantial has occurred: since March 29, 2006 there is an Advanced Directive, what could be called an almost revolutionary step because it is embodied in a special new law!

Although a very strange § 13 is included in the law:
§ 13. The patient cannot, by use of an Advanced Directive, limit the obligations to undergo treatment, these obligations being based on special legal rules.
but according to reliable information from Austria, it concerns only diseases according to § 2 of the tuberculosis law, § 2 of the sex disease law and § 11 Paragraph 1 of the addictive drugs law.

In Austria therefore one can now render impossible ANY psychiatric diagnosis without one's expressed written consent by means of a legally binding Advance Directive (see e.g.: www.patverfue.de ) and thus protected, the individual can no longer be subjected to psychiatric slandering by forced diagnosis and as a result, no legal compulsory hospitalization and coercive treatment is permissable. This is due to the fact that the Austrian Civil Commitment Law only enables coercive treatment if all of the three following conditions are fulfilled:
1) a diagnosed "mental illness" AND
2) acute danger to oneself or others AND
3) the lack of other possible treatment (subsidiary principle)
Because condition 1) can no longer be fulfilled, compulsory psychiatric hospitalization and coercive treatment automatically become severe criminal bodily injury and unlawful detention. According to the § 110 penal code, the penalty for "forbidden treatment" is 6 months or 360 days - Felix Austria!

Unfortunately the law is badly watered down:
a) At worst according to § 46. (1) of the state police law, one can be brought to a physician by the police but he may not diagnose then because of the existing, legally effective Advance Directive. One must additionally prevent a diagnosis by maintaining absolute silence with the physician, who does not want to adhere to the law and wants to diagnose illegally. For coercive treatment the state police law offers no legal basis anyway.

b) If one already has a guardianship, one is patronized and can no longer establish an Advance Directive. This is not the case though, if instead one has a Representation Agreement - this at least is the case in Germany, where so far that is the only loop hole against psychiatric force, see: www.patverfue.de .

c) Such an Advance Directive has to be renewed every 5 years. The period of 5 years validity is included in the law and an Advance Directive has to be established in the presence of an attorney or a notary (for which the attorney/notary naturally may require fees), but it is also possible to establish an Advance Directive with the help of a so-called "Patient Advocate". This is surely substantially cheaper than with an attorney, if not free of charge. Additionally, a physician must also confirm having been "consulted" but the 1/4 hour stupid babble once every 5 years with head nodding (and thereby keeping one's thoughts to oneself) is quickly over. The important point is that the consultation cannot prevent one from including in the Advance Directive that which belongs there: www.patverfue.de

That will pull the carpet from under the feet of the whole of psychiatry in a relatively short period of time. The reason is that even if only a small minority establish such Advance Directives, as we suggested, it is obvious that there is no such thing as "mental illness", because no objective criterion exists at all. Therefore it is sufficient that one does not want to be "mentally ill" and already one cannot be "mentally ill", and/or be made an alleged "mentally ill" patient :o)
The only illness is namely the "diagnostic" slander!

We congratulate our Austrian friends whole heartedly and ask you to pass this good message on in your own e-mail lists.

Werner Fuss Center,
Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte
Greifswalder Straße 4
10405 Berlin