Languishing in mental hospital for 2 yrs, British woman to finally fly home
When this 50-year-old UK woman first reached India in 2010 on a spiritual vacation, little did she know that her stay in the country would turn out to be a long one. Reportedly suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, and with no money or state of mind to go back, she has been languishing in a Delhi hospital for two years. On August 14, she will finally return to London.
The woman walks to-and-fro in a straight line for hours in the semi-restrictive woman's ward in Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS). She holds a steel glass half filled with water. "It is hard to say whether she is happy or sad or even if she understands what is going on as she hardly gives any response," said a senior resident doctor in IHBAS.
The woman was picked up by Karawal Nagar Police on January 1, 2011. "A PCR call informed us of a mentally ill foreigner being in Pusta Madir. When we located her, she had no documents of identity on her. So we took her in custody and produced her before a magistrate on January 2, who directed that she be admitted to IHBAS," said the police officer who investigated her case.
"Later we came to know that she was a British citizen and we contacted the British High Commission and told them about her whereabouts," he said.
The woman was admitted to IHBAS on January 3 last year. "Her medical condition makes her hallucinate and she was also delusional. She moved around in geometrical patterns for hours. This is called ritualistic behaviour," said Dr Nimesh Desai, Director, IHBAS.
"When she was brought she couldn't even take care of herself. But after treatment, she has improved a lot," he said.
"The magistrate who ordered that she be admitted to IHBAS, did not give consent for her treatment. According to the British law, admission in a hospital and treatment are two different things unlike in India where admission to a hospital implies treatment too. So for a year she was kept in the hospital without treatment," Dr Desai said.
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