Institutionalized persons to get protection from maltreatment

Caregivers in mental institutions should be mindful and careful of how they treat their patients.

Lawmakers have proposed to penalize maltreatment of institutionalized people with imprisonment ranging from six months to one year.

Rep. Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur) and his mother, Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga) believed that adequate social services and respect must be extended to institutionalized people.

“It is the policy of the State to provide adequate social services to institutionalized persons and to respect their dignity by ensuring that the persons in charge of their care and maintenance treat them properly,” Arroyo said.

House Bill 5217 defines institution as any facility or institution, which is owned, operated, or managed by, or provides services on behalf of the government or its political subdivision and which function is to provide skilled nursing, intermediate or long-term care, or custodial or residential care.

On the other hand, the bill refers to institutionalized persons as persons kept in an institution who are mentally ill, disabled, or retarded, or chronically ill or handicapped and who are in jail, either by final sentence, or under detention.

The measure considers juveniles who are held awaiting trial; residing in such facility or institution for purposes of receiving care or treatment; or residing for any government purpose in such facility or institution as institutionalized people.

The bill prohibits any official, employee, or agent of the government, or other person acting on behalf of the government charged with the care of an institutionalized person to subject persons residing in, or confined to an institution to egregious or flagrant conditions causing such person to suffer physical injuries.

It also prohibits the withholding from such institutionalized persons services, resources and facilities necessary for their maintenance and well-being.

The bill further states that it shall be unlawful for people taking care of institutionalized persons to inflict, intentionally or through negligence, upon said person’s psychological or physical harm.

Arroyo said penalizing maltreatment of institutionalized persons defined under this Act would ensure that they would not be subjected to abusive and degrading treatment from the people charged with their care and custody.


Post a Comment