Prosecuting the state for human rights violations after forced treatment in psychiatry – NRK Oslo and Viken – Local news, TV and radio

Compulsory medication, belt laying and use of insulation.

Psychiatry in Norway is on a wild goose chase, according to two women who live on opposite sides of the country.

Inger-Mari Eidsvik (57) and Merete Nesset (59) have filed a lawsuit against the state for human rights violations.

They believe they have been subjected to illegal coercive treatment repeatedly.

The meeting with the psychiatric health service started for both Eidsvik and Nesset in connection with their first

A psychosis is a mental disorder. Those who experience psychosis will often have a disturbed perception of reality.

Source: Common Catalog


“data-term =” psychosis “> psychoses.

Both have later been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the coercive treatments they have been subjected to.

– For me, this is about respect for my fellow patients, and that we can not do this to a new generation, says Eidsvik.

Unique bag

In recent years, experts have debated whether it is possible to treat the mentally ill with less medication and less coercion.

In 2020, almost 1,800 Norwegians were forced to take antipsychotic drugs.

Last week, the processing of the case by Nesset and Eidsvik began in Oslo District Court. This is the first time such a case has been taken up in the Norwegian legal system.

In the first instance, the court must assess whether the cases can be dealt with in court. At the same time, a key factor is whether the cases are too old to be raised.

This is the opinion of the Attorney General, who defends the interests of the state.

– I was a guinea pig

In 1993, Merete Nesset gave birth to her first child. Three months later, she developed a stress-triggered, reactive psychosis.

At the same time, she was forcibly admitted to Vinderen Psychiatric Hospital. There it was decided that she should be medicated with

Antipsychotics are medications used to treat patients who experience psychosis. In the past, the term “neuroleptics” was used to describe the same drugs.

Source: The Medicines Handbook

“data-term =” antipsychotics “> antipsychotics.

Merete Nesset describes herself as an activist. She has long fought for a more humane approach to people with psychosis.

Photo: Benjamin Vorland Andersrød / NRK

During her hospitalization, she was given 13 different antipsychotic medications. At most, she was medicated with 6 different medications at the same time.

Nesset himself describes the medication as experimental treatment.

– I was a guinea pig. There was nothing that had the effect they wanted, she claimed in court.

Over 100 compulsive medications

Procedural counsel Mads Andenæs is leading the case on behalf of Eidsvik and Nesset.

According to him, the women have been illegally forcibly medicated more than 100 times in total.

– It is a very serious decision with a high threshold. You can not just do it because you think it is best, says Andenæs.

Portrait of lawyer Mads Andenæs.

Lawyer Mads Andenæs is taking the case to court on behalf of the plaintiffs. On a daily basis, he is also a professor at the University of Oslo.

Photo: Benjamin Vorland Andersrød / NRK

Was medicated while strapped in belts

In December 2013, Nesset was admitted to compulsory observation at Veum Psychiatric Hospital in Fredrikstad.

There she is said to have been laid on the floor by several male employees, before they medicated her with sedatives and sleeping pills.


Behind the doors of the emergency room at Veum Psychiatric Hospital in Fredrikstad, Merete Nesset was forcibly medicated, placed in belts and isolated on several occasions. Operations at the hospital were closed down when Østfold Hospital moved to its new premises at Kalnes in Sarpsborg in 2015.

Photo: Heidi Gomnæs / NRK

One year later, Nesset was exposed to the same thing again. It shows excerpts from her journal.

– Then I was even strapped into a cot at the same hospital. I was totally immobilized in belts.

– I do not call it treatment. I call it torture.

Fight against the syringes

– It is high time that we who have been subjected to coercion in psychiatry are seen and heard, says Inger-Mari Eidsvik from Ålesund.

Portrait photo of Inger-Mari Eidsvik taken close up, outside Oslo District Court

In court, Inger-Mari Eidsvik explained that she wants to be admitted to psychiatry when she needs it. However, she does not want to be forcibly medicated or to be placed in solitary confinement.

Photo: Benjamin Vorland Andersrød / NRK

Her first encounter with psychiatry was in 1988. Then she was forcibly admitted to Hjelset in Molde. It was determined that she was psychotic at the time of admission.

Eidsvik’s journal states that she was repeatedly forcibly medicated while she was held down by several nurses.

– Since then, I have fought physically against the syringes and verbally against isolation and treatment.

In several admissions, Eidsvik must also have experienced being isolated in his own room. During the periods she was isolated, she was not allowed to have contact with anyone.

Not even the staff.

In total, Eidsvik has been admitted for psychiatric treatment eleven times since 1988. The last admission was in 2016.

In the same year, it was revealed that the hospital at Hjelset was worst in the country when it came to coercion in psychiatry.

Believes there are no human rights violations

Bjarne Snipsøyr, lawyer at the Government Attorney, explains that they understand that staying in psychiatry can be a burden for those who experience it.

He is nevertheless clear that the state disagrees with the plaintiffs’ argument.

– We believe that there is no basis for ascertaining any human rights violations, and that the plaintiffs, who have been in difficult situations, have received the help they are entitled to and the help they should.

The decision from the Oslo District Court is expected in week 28.

Kristoffer Nerland and Bjarne Snipsøyr from the public prosecutor, wearing the court uniforms in courtroom 317 in Oslo District Court.

Kristoffer Nerland (left) and Bjarne Snipsøyr from the Government Attorney represent the state in the case.

Photo: Benjamin Vorland Andersrød / NRK

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