Report on the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists Annual Meeting in London
The Royal College of Psychiatrists held its annual meeting in London from July 9 to 13, 2001. This event was also combined with the World Psychiatric Association's (WPA) European Regional Meeting. A practitioner who is also a physician was able to attend this meeting.
On Wednesday July 11, 2001, a press conference was held regarding psychiatric abuses in China. Some very prominent and well-respected psychiatrists were present as well as an eminent academic researcher on the subject. The points they made included the fact that the abuses in China were more widespread than in the Soviet Union, that the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners was unacceptable and that action should be taken to stop such psychiatric abuses. The Chair at the press conference also invited the physician practitioner to comment. The practitioner spoke of the peaceful and apolitical nature of Falun Gong, the reasons for the crackdown, the number of documented cases of psychiatric abuse against practitioners and the nature of this kind of torture. She also emphasized the urgency of the issue as well as urging the profession to step forward as it was affecting the integrity of psychiatry elsewhere. Before the press conference, the practitioner prepared some materials for distribution. After the press conference, the practitioner met an MP who represented psychiatric issues in the UK parliament. She was able to discuss and inform him of the situation regarding Falun Gong in China.
Also on Wednesday July 11, the Royal College of Psychiatrists held its annual general meeting. A resolution to investigate the psychiatric abuses in China was put forward. The practitioner was also given a special invitation to attend. Many people spoke very strongly and from their hearts. The practitioner was very moved by the compassion of her fellow professionals. The Chair of the WPA's Ethical Committee spoke of the WPA's concern at the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners in China. The resolution was passed without any opposition.
On Thursday July 12, a seminar was held at the conference entitled "Political Abuse of Psychiatry in China." The speakers spoke of the "widespread and systematic" abuses taking place in China, "Chinese abuses surpass those of the Soviet Union," "something must be done...we can not stand by...," "the horrendous crackdown on the Falun Gong spiritual movement," "Falun Gong is the fastest growing spiritual movement in the world." One speaker said that the medical reason given to him by officials regarding the detention of Falun Gong practitioners in psychiatric facilities could not be found in any Chinese or international medical book. A psychiatrist of Chinese ethnic origin questioned the Royal College's resolution regarding China commenting that it was like David and Goliath. One of the advocates of the resolution pointed out that the winner of that battle between David and Goliath had been David.
The physician practitioner was also invited to give a speech. She told the audience that the principles of Falun Gong were Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance as well as informing them of the psychiatric abuses taking place against the practitioners in China. She gave specific information about particular cases, the types of medication being administered as well as appealing to all professionals to encourage high ethical standards so as these abuses would not continue. The practitioner also pointed out that the detention of Falun Gong practitioners in mental institutions began after the beginning of the persecution in July 1999 and there were no such cases before this date. Furthermore, Falun Gong is practised in 40 countries and no other country has reported cases of Falun Gong practitioners being admitted to psychiatric facilities. Afterwards there was a question and answer session in which the practitioner was further able to clarify the truth about Falun Gong.
Reported from the UK
July 13, 2001
Category: Other Community Events