BMA calls for end to ‘inhumane’ restraint of children

The British Medical Association (BMA) is calling for the abolition of potentially painful restraint methods in children’s homes

Doctors leaders in the UK have called for the use of “developmentally harmful” painful control and restraint methods to be outlawed in secure children’s homes.

Members of the BMA voted to accept the motion proposed by its Forensic and Secure Environments Committee at its Annual Representative Meeting in Belfast and will seek to lobby the government for the abolition of this practice.

Commenting, BMA medical ethics committee chair, Dr John Chisholm, said:

“The use of pain-inducing restraint on children and young people in detention should not be permitted under any circumstances and the BMA will seek to lobby the government for the abolition of this practice.

“There is evidence to show that the use of such techniques is physically, psychologically and developmentally harmful as well as having the potential to contribute to the normalisation of violence and breakdown of trust between patients and staff members.

“These young people, many of whom will be vulnerable and already from challenging circumstances, should not have to endure what is essentially inhumane treatment, regardless of their offending history.

“The BMA stands alongside other national and international organisations, including the Equality and Human Rights Commission, in calling for an end to the use of pain-inducing restraint and believes such treatment has no place in the 21st century.”

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