Autistic adult restrained and sedated

5 Dec

The day I finished writing about a new study on emergency service use and how this often ends up resulting in physical restraints and/or sedation (Autism, emergency rooms, sedation and restraints) I became aware of the story of James Pascoe, an autistic adult who went through a crisis and was taken to hospital and now as a result has been both sedated and restrained for now over two weeks.  His parents have started a petition asking the Australian prime minister Premier of Victoria, Australia to act (Daniel Andrews: our autistic son turned 21 last week shackled to a hospital bed – don’t let him suffer from neglect any longer). At present the petition has 39,000 signatures.

The story has been getting worldwide attention. This story from the Daily Mail has a fairly lengthy discussion:Australian couple outraged after their autistic son is shackled to a hospital bed for FOURTEEN days

The short version is that Mr. Pascoe has seen increasing difficulties since he turned 16. His parents link this to grief over the loss of his grandmother, and a lack of support to help him come to terms with death. Years back Mr. Pascoe also lost his little sister when she was 4 1/2 weeks old. Per the parents, Mr. Pascoe has not been able to deal with these loses and has been left fearful of ambulances. A quote from his mother:

‘He couldn’t even go in the ambulance to hospital because he was scared that he would die, everyone who had been taken away in an ambulance died,’

DHS in Australia says that the family has been offered two placements. The family contends these are not appropriate. I am unaware if details of the offered placements are public.


Again, more details can be found at the Daily Mail story and at the petition.

By Matt Carey

3 Responses to “Autistic adult restrained and sedated”

  1. Sullivan (Matt Carey) December 5, 2014 at 19:29 #

    Many will likely be reminded of the story of Alex Spourdalakis, an American autistic teen who also ended up restrained in a hospital bed. Mr. Spourdalakis’ story also gathered a great deal of attention. Unfortunately, Mr. Spourdalakis’ family was “helped” by Andrew Wakefield and a group calling itself “autism is medical”. After said “help”, Mr. Spourdalakis’ mother and another caregiver murdered him with an overdose of pills and a knife.

  2. Benison O'Reilly December 5, 2014 at 19:50 #

    As an Australian I am disgusted and ashamed & have signed the petition. A slight correction: Daniel Andrews is the Premier of Victoria, the state in which James resides. Our prime minister is Tony Abbott, although many of us would prefer this wasn’t the case!

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) December 6, 2014 at 00:34 #

      Thanks for that–I was wondering why I didn’t recognize the name (sorry that I don’t know the names of your Premiers)

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