Mar 092014
 

Anthony has the label of Autism, he does not use the spoken word but he is able to communicate very effectively through typing on his light writer. Anthony’s struggle for independent living highlights important issues for all disabled people, living in Ireland and Europe who have a human right to independent living as per article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The catalogue of mismanagement and abuse outlined below demands a full and independent enquiry into the unacceptable experiences of Anthony.

For almost three years Anthony (now 26) had his own apartment in Dublin, he had 24hr personal assistance, and he was attending university classes. His support was managed by Cheshire Ireland, who fully accepted and welcomed Anthony’s communication and his voice. Cheshire Ireland managed the funding for support for over two years, which was provided by Health Service Executive of Ireland (HSE).

However, without consultation with Anthony or his Family a new organization took over Anthony’s support arrangements Áiseanna Tacaíochta Network (ATN) This organization was imposed upon Anthony and his family by HSE.

ATN did not accept Anthony’s communication, which caused a breakdown of Anthony’s support arrangements, including the Director informing Anthony’s parents that he had completed the necessary forms to have Anthony’s personal disability benefits paid into ATN accounts; this was without consent or consultation with Anthony or his family. As a result Anthony’s personal disability allowance was suspended. (Leaving Anthony without his own money for 10 months). After six months of ATN management the director had a private meeting with HSE to recommend Anthony goes into residential institution for further assessments.

Anthony and his family opposed such a retrograde step. At the same time ATN took the bizarre step of refusing to renew the rental agreement on Anthony’s accommodation, which resulted in Anthony being made homeless. He therefore had no meaningful choice but to accept the residential assessment at Redwood Centre, Stamullen in Ireland.

Within days at Redwood Anthony was put on antipsychotic medication and taken off his important gluten and diary free diet, against the strong protest of himself and his family, and against medical advice of Anthony’s own doctor (GP). Redwood ignored these representations. A few days later Anthony was admitted as an emergency patient from Redwood to a general hospital having had a series of nine seizures. Anthony had never experienced seizures prior to being admitted to Redwood.

Redwood also refused to accept Anthony’s communication needs and after several months, still on the same medication Anthony was refused the right to attend his own case conference at Redwood by Redwood senior staff and by HSE.

Anthony was removed from Redwood in December 2013, but is now at another institution, as the option of moving back into his old accommodation is no longer available to him due to the actions of ATN.

Redwood has refused to comment on Anthony experience whilst at Redwood.

HSE has refused to comment upon Anthony’s experience at Redwood.

ATN has refused to comment on Anthony’s experience at Redwood or their actions.

All involved appear to deny responsibility for any of the severe impacts on Anthony’s life or the removal of his right to live independently through their actions.

Anthony and his family want a full and independent enquiry into the unnecessary and unacceptable actions leading to this total abuse of Anthony’s human rights.

Important Questions for the Health Service Executive:

1. Why did the HSE change Anthony’s support arrangements to ATN without consultation with Anthony or his family, prior to those arrangements being completed?

2. Why did the HSE allow ATN to take over the management of Anthony’s support arrangement when ATN had not consulted with Anthony of his family?

3. Why did the HSE allow ATN to stop Anthony’s personal disability allowance without any consultation with Anthony of his parents?

4. Why did the HSE allow ATN to end the rental contract of Anthony’s accommodation without Anthony’s or his family’s permission?

5. Why did the HSE accept the recommendations of ATN, for Anthony for residential assessment when ATN failed to discuss such a recommendations with Anthony or his family?

6. Why did the HSE allow Redwood to administer Antipsychotic medication and remove his gluten and dairy free diet to Anthony without his permission and against the advice of Anthony’s own family doctor and parents?

7. Why did the HSE not explain to Anthony or his family why he was admitted as an emergency patient to the general hospital?

8. Why did the HSE refuse to allow Anthony to attend his own Case Conference at Redwood?

Joe Whittaker

Whittakerjoe5@gmail.com

Friend of Anthony

Please email Joe with messages of support to pass on to Anthony, or if you can help in any way please contact Joe.

Reposted from European Network for Independent Living (ENIL) website with thanks http://www.enil.eu/news/anthony-kletzander-abuse-of-human-rights-dublin-ireland/

 

Dec 162013
 

With many thanks for all your great support……

On Friday 20th December 2013 Anthony was moved with his families agreement, by HSE, to a temporary accommodation. We will update you in due course as to how this accommodation works out. Anthony’s parents and sister visited Anthony in his new accommodation and Anthony typed “I am delighted to be out of that place”

Anthony’s Case Conference.

The farcical case conference, about Anthony Kletzander, at Redwood Institution ( run by the Talbot Group a private residential care company ) in Stamullin, Ireland on the 18th December 2013 really did have to be experienced to be believed.

In relation to Anthony Redwood’s practice is opaque and communication jargonised amongst consenting professionals. This is discreetly managed behind, closed doors!

I accompanied Anthony’s mother and sister for Anthony’s Case Conference, there had been no formal agenda nor any indication of professionals to be in attendance, prior to the meeting. We asked for Anthony to join us.

“We can’t have Anthony at the meeting because it is a professional meeting” firmly stated Ann Jackson, psychiatrist with Redwood,

“Anthony, is not invited to this meeting” said The Disabilities Manager, Geraldine Murphy from HSE, she continued ” Anthony can come in and hear what judgements have been made later”

We stated that we would not meet without Anthony presence and his participation.

Ann Jackson, said;

“Anthony would be overwhelmed by such a large gathering” We suggested, they should ask Anthony directly.

“Absolutely, not!” one of the growing number of professional suggested “these are clinical recommendations”.

We repeated we will not be attending any meeting without Anthony. With no sense of irony the Psychiatrist Ann Jackson exclaimed!

“We are a person centred organisation”

The Director of Redwood tried to usher us into the conference room, we repeated;

“Nothing about Anthony without Anthony”

If Professionals gather like a pack! Then if you critically question their status, and power by refusing to concede their dictates you are accused of ” bullying” “being aggressive” ” being intimidating”, “raising your voice” “finger pointing” individuals – this was the chorus from Redwood professionals. Psychiatrists, Psychologists, therapists, Managers and Directors all gathered around the three of us.

It is amusing that I was labelled as intimidating, because we refused to follow their instructions, when their offensive message, to a mother, that her son, was not allowed into his case conference was presented as reasonable.

One psychologist Ronan Gibney, then suggested Anthony be allowed into the meeting on just one condition: Anthony would

“not be allowed to use his communication light writer”

Ronan Gibney, said “his team” decided Anthony’s communication was not “credible”. I asked what evidence he had for making this judgement, since he had not observed Anthony type. He was unable to give a credible response.

There were about 15 professionals at the case conference, However, Anthony would not be present or be heard. We were there to listen to their conclusions.

Why would Redwood want to silence Anthony? If, in their words, Anthony’s communication “lacked credibility” It is because Anthony has been very clear and consistent in his communication that :

His dairy and gluten free diet stopped at Redwood.

Risperdal given despite pleas from his parents and the fact that his Family doctor advised of possible adverse reactions. All ignored by Redwood (still no formal explanation or apology from Redwood or HSE about Anthony’s emergency admittance to hospital, two days after Anthony’s parents met Ronan Gibney and following a series of seizures, days after he was given the medication. Anthony was still being given the antipsychotic medication at Rewood) Anthony never had seizures before and the hospital records which the family attained from their family doctor stated that Anthony did not have epilepsy. So what caused the seizures???

No one was prepared to use Anthony’s communication aid at Redwood ,despite it having been accepted, by Dr Corinne Pearson,Clinical Director at Redwood, in a conversation with Anthony and his parents prior to Anthony’s admission to Redwood.

Not surprisingly Redwood professionals are denying the very communication aid from which Anthony could describe in detail his experiences. Therefore, by dismissing Anthony’s voice as “lacking credibility” they continue to disguise their treatment of Anthony.

I stated to Redwood assessment team I was calling the response to Anthony as abusive, they were aghast that anyone could think such a thing let alone name it.

They asked me to leave the premises. I declined their offer. They said they would call the guards (police) I said I would wait. The police arrived, we went into a side room. We detailed events, I made a charge of abuse of Anthony to be formally noted. My allegations were recorded by the police.

Anthony’s mum was told the following day that Anthony would be discharged from Redwood immediately, back to the “care” of HSE, given that Joe Whittaker had made such an outrageous charge of abuse against Redwood.

We have no idea what the Redwood team had concluded in their reports. We know Redwood decision was made before the family arrived without Anthony being able to hear or comment on their judgements. The need for the family to comply in such a meeting would have given legitimacy to this illegitimate denial of Anthony’s rights. This we judged was why Redwood was desperate for the family to give Redwood procedures legitimacy.

How can any report, written by 15 or more professionals, regardless of their competence or academic qualifications, written about another human being, have any credibility if the voice of that human being has been denied during the compiling of that report?

The HSE insisted on and commissioned this spurious and unnecessary assessment of a young man who has been, drugged gagged and disorientated by damaging diet, at Redwood. An assessment that could have been conducted, over a couple of hours with Anthony, using his means of communication, who has consistently stated that he wants his own apartment, his own staff and attend university, as he had done before. HSE imposed this damaging assessment and turned Anthony’s life upside down.

Our immediate objective is to press HSE with Anthony to put in place Anthony’s legitimate wish to live independently.

In the long term it is important to press for a full and independent investigation into the treatment of Anthony at Redwood.

We will be contacting Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State with responsibilities for Disability, Department of Health ( kathleen_lynch@health.gov.ie ) to ask her to initiate an independent investigation. However, when we said to Sheila Marshall from HSE that this would be our next action, she shrugged and said that any representation to the minister would simply come back to HSE. We also have to challenge the implication of such a complacent comment.

Joe Whittaker
21st December 2013

Anthony is a young man of 25 and was living in his own rented apartment in Dublin for almost three years after many years of struggle. Anthony was enjoying the lifestyle he had chosen. This is the life of many young men at 25. However, Anthony has the label of Autism; he does not use speech but communicates very well by typing on his lightwriter.  Anthony has made many presentations to groups of disabled people in Ireland and the UK describing his struggle to get his independent life style.

Anthony had his own 24/7 paid personal assistants, funded by HSE (National Health Service of Ireland) Anthony was very active and very healthy, his parents had supported him all his life, they worked extremely hard with committed professionals from around the world to ensure he had an appropriate, well balanced gluten and dairy free diet with plenty of exercise, regular running along the beach near Dublin and physical activity in the local Gym. In addition, for a number of semesters, Anthony was attending classes at a University in Dublin; this was the highlight of his week.

Anthony’s chosen life style was brought to an end when Áiseanna Tacaíochta (AT Network) based in Dublin took over responsibilities for Anthony’s support package, without Anthony’s consent, within 8 months the support was so inappropriate for Anthony that he was forced into Redwood Extended Care Facility, Stamullenfor a period of “assessment”

 

Anthony had already had 20 years of being assessed by professionals. But many people will know that for disabled people ineffective professionals don’t accept previous assessments they set about insisting on more and more expensive and intrusive assessments, often to underpin their initial  prejudice. The irony of this ridiculous situation is that had the Senior Management at HSE had the wisdom to sit down with Anthony for a couple of hours and listen to him, they would have all the information they required.

Within three days of being in Redwood for “Assessment” Anthony was given Risperdral an antipsychotic medication and taken off his gluten and dairy free diet. Anthony made it clear to his parents that the “medication made him feel ill and very strange”. Anthony’s parents immediately protested to Redwood. They even had written evidence from Anthony’s GP of 15 years that the Risperdral medication could cause adverse reactions and his gluten and dairy free diet was essential to maintain balance within his body metabolism. Redwood refused to accept these representations, even when Anthony typed “make them stop giving me this medication”

Anthony’s parents met with Clinician at Redwood and again Redwood refused to accept their concern. Within three days of this meeting Anthony was admitted as an emergency patient to  Drogheda Hospital, after having had several seizures. (Anthony had never experienced seizures before entering Redwood. After his stay in hospital Anthony was returned to Redwood where they continued with the same antipsychotic medication and kept him off his special diet.

Anthony is denied his preferred communication at Redwood 

Dr Corrine Pearson, clinical Director at Redwood stated:

“when Anthony is using the lightwriter that he is not always looking at the keyboard whilst continuing to type a message.  As a team this raises concerns about the validity of Anthony using the lightwriter to communicate

This demonstrates a total lack of understanding of Anthony’s use of his peripheral vision when typing on his keyboard, common with many people who experience autism, but more importantly a blatant denial of Anthony’s right to use his preferred and essential means of communication, which he has used for over twelve years.

 On the 18December 2013 there will be a case conference of staff from Redwood to decide on Anthony’s future placement. Anthony’s voice will not be heard at this meeting. There is every indication that they will be recommending that HSE place Anthony in a residential institution attached to Redwood, using the same regime. 

I would urge you to contact Dr Corinne Pearson at Redwood and Geraldine Murphy at HSE in Dublin, Disability Manager and protest at this abuse of power, even a short message will help and show your concern for Anthony.

The more people speak up for Anthony, the more they will hear his voice.

Please continue sending the email until you get a meaningful response.

Please feel free to write your own detailed letter to Redwood and the HSE.  However, for those people who want to make a quick response I would suggest the following:

Dear Dr Pearson and Ms Murphy,

Re: Anthony Kletzander 

Please explain why you continue to give Anthony medication against his wishes and have stopped the diet essential for his wellbeing? 

Anthony is clear that he wants to live in his own rented accommodation with his own personal support, which he has already experienced. 

Please explain to me why Redwood and HSE are denying his human rights to direct his own lifestyle? 

Yours etc

Can I also suggest you copy your email to The Director of Redwood and Senior Officer at HSE, Anthony’s TD (Irish MEP) and me so I can monitor the effectiveness of this campaign? Emails below

Please circulate this information to as many people and networks that you know who will be disturbed by its contents. This denial of Anthony’s human rights cannot be allowed to continue for Anthony or for any young person in Ireland.

Thank You

Joe Whittaker

Friend of Anthony.

Please email:

Dr Corinne Pearson: Clinical Director at Redwood.
corinne@talbotgroup.ie

Geraldine Murphy: Disability Manager at HSE Dublin

geraldine.murphy1@hse.ie

Copies to

·       Director at Redwood

frances@talbotgroup.ie 

·       Sheila Marshall

        Director of HSE

        sheila.marshall@hse.ie 

·       Anthony’s  MP

Finian.mcgrath@oireachtas.ie 

·         Joe Whittaker

Whittakerjoe5@gmail.com

There is also an e- petition

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/help-anthony-kletzander?utm_medium=email&utm_source=system&utm_campaign=Send%2Bto%2BFriend