Court rules that former prisoner can sue psychiatrist who committed and drugged him without consent

May 13, 2010

The Appeal Court of Vancouver, BC has ruled that a former convict can sue a psychiatrist over allegations the doctor was negligent in certifying him under the Mental Health Act.

Clay Stewart claims that while he was in prison, psychiatrist Ian Postnikoff wrongly certified him and then treated him for a mental disorder without his consent.

Stewart also claims Postnikoff was complicit with the Vancouver Police Department in issuing a news release that he was a high-risk sex offender although he has never been convicted of any sexual offence.

Stewart claims Postnikoff didn't conduct an interview with him and instead reached his conclusion from forms given to him by another doctor, something Stewart says is against the Act.

Appeal Court Judge Nicole Garson has ordered a new trial on the claim of negligence and breach of the Mental Health Act, ruling that Stewart has an arguable case on the issue that the necessary findings of fact can't be made on the basis of a written record.

Source: "B.C. court says former convict can sue doctor over mental health ruling," The Canadian Press, May 13, 2010.

Related content: Read Citizens Commission on Human Rights' report on unreliability of psychiatric diagnoses.


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