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Expressen - Sweden | Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Lock up dementia patients for their own good

Taking coercive measures against people with dementia is not allowed in Sweden. The liberal tabloid Expressen calls for a revision in view of the growing number of people affected by the disorder: "Freedom of choice, self-determination, integrity - these are key terms in Sweden. But there are adults who can't live independently because their judgement has been affected by a disease. In such cases, coercive action may be necessary because they become a danger to themselves and others. ... Coercive measures must be subject to intense scrutiny. But nowadays it's forbidden for the dementia departments at hospitals to be closed off from the rest, even though the staff can't take care of all the patients. It's a crazy system in which members of staff can be punished by law for caring for confused elderly patients if the supervisory authorities find out about it. Sweden's new minister for the elderly, the social democrat Åsa Regnér, should put an end to this and pave the way for a sensible approach."

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