A Dutch documentary about a mentally ill and potentially dangerous 18-year-old has prompted lawmakers in the Netherlands — amid national outrage — to re-examine the treatment of those in psychiatric care.
The documentary, which was produced by the Lutheran-run Evangelical Broadcasting Company and aired on public television Tuesday, followed Brandon van Ingen, a patient at a mental hospital in Ermelo. Since 2007, van Ingen has spent part of his days tethered to a wall due to the danger he poses to others, according to State Secretary for Public Health Marlies Veldhuijzen van Zanten-Hyllner.
“Brandon’s issue is so serious that he must be restricted in his freedom for the sake of his own safety and that of others,” van Zanten-Hyllner wrote in a letter to parliament. “Because of this, Brandon consistently makes use of a band that he fastens himself when he is in the presence of his attendants and other visitors. Whenever there is no one present and at night, the band is loosened.”
In response to the documentary, the country’s political parties held emergency meetings Wednesday to discuss care for the mentally ill.