Mon, Oct 07, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Psychiatric institution abuse revealed by video

NO PROTECTION:The county’s Labor Affairs and Social Resources Department director is one patient’s legal guardian, but even this could not save him from abuse, PAPID said

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Chieh-ju, front center, yesterday speaks at a press conference at the legislature as members of the Parents’ Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability look on.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

A government-subsidized psychiatric institution in Miaoli County is at the center of an alleged patient abuse scandal.

A superintendent at Chinmin Educational Institute for the Mentally Disabled was allegedly filmed mistreating residents, and videos have been obtained by the Parents’ Association for Persons with Intellectual Disability (PAPID).

The association yesterday accused the county government of dereliction and called for the closure of the care home.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Chieh-ju (陳節如) accompanied PAPID at a press conference at the Legislature Yuan, where the footage was played, showing the superintendent kicking, strangling, spanking and hitting the residents.

The group said the institute was given a national evaluation of “C” in 2008, which was reissued after re-evaluation in the same year. While the institute was graded B after re-evaluation in 2011, the association said that the county government had failed to fine the institute in the four years between, as it should have in accordance with the People with Disabilities Rights Protection Act (身心障礙者權益保障法).

“The institute has continued to be subsidized by both the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the local government,” association chairperson Yang Hsien-chung (楊憲忠) said.

“One of the residents, who was shown to be constantly abused by the superintendent, even has the county government — or, to be specific, the director of the county’s Labor Affairs and Social Resources Department — as his legal guardian, under a district court ruling made in 2012,” he said, adding that even this kind of protection could not save the resident from mistreatment.

“Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) was able to destroy farmland at midnight and raze buildings when protestors were away, but could not rectify the problem at this institute, or at least hand down a fine to this failing facility,” Chen said.

PAPID asked for an immediate legal investigation into the district court’s role and called for the setup of a special investigation led by the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Social and Family Affairs Administration into the institute.

PAPID vice director Tseng Ya-lun (曾雅倫) said they asked the ministry to send representatives the press conference, but were instead promised a ministry response at today’s legislative plenary session as Chen is to question ministry officials over the issue.

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