Any lingering doubts on this point are dispelled by today’s scathing criticism of the way people are detained against their will in this country.
According to the retired head of the Mental Health Commission, Hugh Kane, it is far from ideal to incarcerate a person against his or her will.
He argues that only in a small minority of cases should patients be brought into hospital against their wishes.
Nor is force the best means of therapeutic intervention.
This underlines the need for research into the ongoing abuse of human rights of vulnerable patients in Ireland.
A spotlight has been re-focused on this vexed issue by the inhumane threat to lock up five women over Christmas because of staff shortages. When the HSE entrusts mental health care to accountants, people’s rights are inevitably taken away.