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The Power of One

In the Czech Republic, as in several other Eastern European countries, people with disabilities - in particular mental disabilities or mental illnesses - have sometimes been kept in poor conditions. A 'caged bed' is used, effectively turning the hospital bed into a cage or cell. You may have seen this on the telly.

Now some good news from Amnesty International.

On 13 July the Czech Minister of Health Jozef Kubinyi issued a press statement stating that he had instructed directors of all health institutions to immediately cease use of 'cage beds', calling for the elimination of 'net beds' by the end 2004, and advising replacement of these beds with seclusion rooms and increased numbers of staff to improve care for people with mental disabilities.

But why this change? They received a single letter from a person who is greatly respected in the country: JK Rowling, urging them to abandon the practice. So they did.

From alas a blog.
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