Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Why can't work and Income force druggies to get treatment

In the last post, it was noted that WINZ staffers don't legally have to encourage, let alone require, drug and alcohol addicts to get treatment as part of getting a benefit for being addicts.

That is because if it's interpretation of The Health and Disability Code of Consumers Rights which states
Every consumer must be presumed competent to make an informed choice and give informed consent, unless there are reasonable grounds for believing that the consumer is not competent.Where a consumer has diminished competence, that consumer retains the right to make informed choices and give informed consent, to the extent appropriate to his or her level of competence.
Where a consumer is not competent to make an informed choice and give informed consent, and no person entitled to consent on behalf of the consumer is available, the provider may provide services where (a) It is in the best interests of the consumer; and (b) Reasonable steps have been taken to ascertain the views of the consumer.
There is nothing in this code which prevents WINZ staffers making beneficiaries get treatment as part of their benefit if they think it is in the best interest of the incompetent consumer. Furthermore, its about time that we had legislation stating that it is the best interests of all such addicts, and similar people in receipt of a benefit that they are required to get treatment, or lose their benefit. They still have a choice as to whether they should accept treatment, but if they decline treatment, they can kiss goodbye to a benefit in exactly the same way that you can't access financial assistance as a student if if you don't pass half the previous year's papers.

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Blogger Truth Seeker said...

Have you ever had much to do with serious drug addicts / users?

Almost by definition, anyone who thinks people with serious drug problems can be forced to receive treatment is revealing they have no experience in the area and don't know what they are talking about.

People have to want to stop taking drugs. One thing is absolutely certain: You're wasting your time and money "forcing" them to.

July 8, 2008 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Have you ever had much to do with serious drug addicts / users?
Yes, extensive, actually, dealing with them on an almost daily basis in my past two jobs, including administering their benefits. Treatment is not just about stopping people taking drugs. I know exactly what I`m talking about.

July 8, 2008 at 10:15 PM  

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