Deep Sleep Treatment Death Nightmare Awakes 30 Years Later to Condemn Current Psychiatric Practices

(Updated November 27, 2020)

A lethal psychiatric drug and shock practice CCHR fought to get banned decades ago should spur accountability and patient protections today. 

Jan Eastgate, a patients’ rights advocate, spent 14 years investigating and exposing deep sleep treatment in Australia, working with a heroic whistleblowing nurse, patients, legislators and the media to get the deadly practiced banned and compensation for the victims.

Psychiatrist Ernest Hunter writing about psychiatry’s role in the Holocaust in a paper headlined, “The Snake on the Caduceus: Dimensions of Medical and Psychiatric Responsibility in the Third Reich,” published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, discussed how “in Australia during the 1980s the examination of medical ethics, particularly in relation to psychiatry, moved from the academy to the court-room. Indeed, the publicity surrounding the Chelmsford inquiry has invoked an image involving the inversion of healing – doctor as killer.’”[1]

The Chelmsford case hit the courts again in 2020—30 years after a New South Wales (NSW) Royal Commission (highest level of government inquiry) condemned what Hunter was referring to: Chelmsford private psychiatric hospital in Sydney, Australia, where deep sleep treatment (DST) was used up until the late 70’s. At that time, pressure was put on the facility to stop the lethal practice, following dozens of deaths. Exposing DST was a 14-year campaign by the Church of Scientology-established Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a mental health industry watchdog, that especially highlighted the damage electroshock treatment causes and the damaging effects of psychotropic drug cocktails.

In a united and passionate effort, patient survivors of DST, especially the late former actor, Barry Hart, their families, nurses, legislators and Scientologists, provided a legacy of patient rights, which currently are being undermined in Australia. Dr. Hunter wrote that the “events within Australia have made it clear that accountability will be demanded of the medical profession, including psychiatry, for its past mistakes.” [2]

The Chelmsford case reappeared in a court case in Sydney in the summer of 2020, brought by two former DST doctors trying to defend their reputation.  Despite a $15 million government inquiry into DST, with experts internationally condemning the ill-reputed and damaging “treatment” and coroner’s inquests confirming DST-related deaths, the doctors “blamed” the Church of Scientology for exposing DST leading to so many inquiries and their “reputation’s” demise.

If “blame” means assigning responsibility for tenaciously fighting for the rights of hundreds of patients harmed by DST, then the Church, which established CCHR in 1969, should be thanked. Indeed, following 13 weeks of testimony and after hearing from more than two dozen nurses, survivors and doctors with firsthand knowledge of the dangers of DST, the court dismissed the doctors’ claims, reaffirming the findings of the Royal Commission that:

[t]he reality is that the expert evidence called by the respondents and the otherwise admissible evidence from experts who were involved in the Royal Commission leaves room for only one credible version of events – that at the time it was administered it should have been obvious to those doctors with knowledge of its details (including the applicants) that DST was a dangerous experimental treatment for which there was no medical indication for any patient subjected to it at Chelmsford.[3]

I lived more than a decade hearing one horror story after another of patients destroyed by DST.  I felt their rage, their pain and the injustice they experienced fighting for accountability for the damage they suffered. Stories of the blind teen being subjected to DST and dying; a 14-year-old girl not only being subjected to DST but also to psychosurgery because she didn’t like her stepfather, and a woman who touched her bleeding scalp to find jagged metal plates jutting out of her head from undergoing psychosurgery following DST. Their stories belie the Chelmsford doctors’ claims that they safely delivered an effective treatment.

In 1993, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s report on “Human Rights of People with Mental Illness, mirrored Hunter’s concerns about learning from Chelmsford’s past. Included in the report was this statement from the agency’s Commissioner: “Placed in a human rights context, the treatment meted out to the patients at Chelmsford represents one of the most systematic and sustained gross violations of human rights in this nation’s history. It was a disgrace to this country, a disgrace to psychiatry, a disgrace to the governments and bureaucrats who allowed it to happen. Many people lost their lives as is now a matter of public record. It would be comforting to think that what happened there…could not happen anywhere else. It would also, in our view, be extremely naïve.”[4]

It can be easy for changing governments to “forget” or be unaware of the atrocities committed in the psychiatric system throughout the 60s-90s in Australia—Chelmsford was but one of numerous inquiries into psychiatric abuse and treatment deaths CCHR helped obtain.  The psychiatric Ward 10B of Townsville Hospital in Queensland was also exposed in the late 80s for its use of modified narcosis—similar to DST, but lasting only several days.

CCHR found that patients had been subjected to double the lethal dose of barbiturates and some were given 30 times the recommended dose of some psychotropic drugs.[5] Along with others, CCHR successfully championed for a Royal Commission inquiry, which in its final report published in 1991, found two patients “died because the treatment of them in Ward 10B was negligent and unsafe” and that six other patients “all of whom committed suicide,” were “treated in Ward 10B in a manner which was negligent and unsafe.”[6] The Inquiry substantiated what CCHR and medical doctors had discovered: psychiatrists carried out practices that were “extremely dangerous, negligent and substandard.”[7]

Like Chelmsford, Ward 10B treatment was described by the then Health Minister as “the dark period in the treatment of the mentally ill in Queensland.” Psychiatrist Angus Dodds called it “Charlatanism in its worst form…in the guise of psychiatry.”[8]

Certainly, psychiatrists today don’t want to remind governments of this. But the 2020 court case brought DST to the forefront again and shows the need for legislators to compare “past mistakes” to the unworkable direction mental health is taking today.

Consider that not long after the Chelmsford Royal Commission ended in 1990, Australian authorities ignored or were unaware of a practice where Melbourne psychiatrist, Dr. Patrick McGorry, championed the unproven theory of Psychosis Risk Syndrome (PRS)—that absent any “mental disorder,” you could drug teens and adults with an antipsychotic to prevent the onset of psychosis.[9] Yet antipsychotics can cause psychosis and other serious adverse effects, including movement disorders and death.

In 2011, U.S. professor of psychiatry Alan Francis, chairman of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health (DSM-IV) Taskforce, condemned PRS describing the early intervention or the youth mental health program in Australia as a” vast untried public-health experiment.”[10] Yet this is still in practice today.

On 26 November 2020, The Financial Review reported that the benefits of another of McGorry’s programs, his flagship Headspace: youth mental health service for Australians aged 12-25 were “small.” Australia’s Productivity Commission investigating mental health in the country suggested that Headspace needs to prove its worth.  Despite hundreds of millions of dollars having been spent on this ill-conceived program since 2006, the latest comprehensive study that compared those receiving treatment at Headspace and those receiving no treatment, found Headspace had only a “small program effect.”

Dr. Harry Bailey was the Australian psychiatrist who developed his version of DST in the 1960s (earlier versions were used in C.I.A. funded mind control experiments under psychiatrist Ewan Cameron at McGill university in Montreal, Canada in the 1950s and 60s. In 1998, a Canadian television movie covered this, based on the book, In The Sleep Room: The Story of CIA Brainwashing Experiments in Canada. There is also a 2018 Netflix drama mini-series about the experiments.[11])

Bailey devised a cocktail of barbiturates, benzodiazpines and the antipsychotic, haloperidol to  induce a coma for several weeks, while electroshock was administered daily. The “treatment” caused thrombosis, pneumonia, strokes, heart attacks, brain damage, and death.[12]

Robert M. Kaplan, author of Medical Murder: Disturbing Cases of Doctors Who Kill wrote: “As casualties mounted and the body count rose, Bailey made no attempt to improve the procedure or provide a better care and supervision.”[13]

This was mirrored in the Federal court, NSW Registry judgment against two Chelmsford practitioners, John Gill and John Herron, when Justice Jayne Jagot ruled that both had engaged in medical malpractice, were grossly negligent, and “had forged ahead with deep sleep therapy despite a mounting death toll.”[14]

Further, “A significant number of patients died while under or immediately after the administration of DST in circumstances where it should be inferred from the evidence that DST caused their deaths. Mr Herron and Dr Gill continued to administer DST despite knowing of the deaths and took none of the steps that would have been necessary at the time to investigate the cause of death and suspend or cease the treatment if the cause could not be mitigated.”

The CCHR Story

Beginning in 1978, CCHR played an integral role in bringing DST to the attention of the media and legislators and in supporting the DST victims. Over the next decade, many Australian media did their own investigations that substantiated CCHR’s allegations and to support their own stories—The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Sun, Sun Herald, The Australian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror, “60 Minutes,” among them

As one veteran Sydney journalist told me in 1985 following the suicide death of Dr. Bailey, when he investigated DST, uncharacteristically, he could not find “another side to the story” to support its use.  It’s hard—if not impossible—then to come to terms with the Chelmsford doctors’ claims today, including the now deregistered psychiatrist, Mr. John Herron, that they’ve been unfairly maligned.  Indeed, he still claims, “I don’t think I did anything wrong.”

In what I believe was a unique situation, dozens of journalists were signatories to a letter that asked the NSW government to hold a Royal Commission inquiry. One of the most significant journalists supporting the Chelmsford survivors was Toni Eatts.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ (RANZCP) book, Mind Menders, said that the vast amount of media that appeared against Chelmsford and Ward 10B was “likely to be known to the average person in the street in Australia, if not perhaps in New Zealand.”[15]  It had a “serious effect on the image of psychiatry,” the College wrote.[16]

Despite even their peers condemning their practices, the two former Chelmsford doctors took umbrage over how they and DST had been depicted in a 2016 book, asserting that DST was an accepted medical practice.

Using Hunter’s Nazi psychiatric analogy, however, that’s as absurd as saying the gas chambers used in German mental hospitals to kill “mental patients” during WWII were therapeutic.

In 1986, The Sydney Morning Herald, reporting on a medical disciplinary hearing into Herron and others’ DST practices, stated: “There was a severe credibility gap in the evidence of Dr. Herron….” Mr. Terrance Tobin, Q.C., called Heron’s evidence “duplicitous, lacking in frankness and lacking in candor.”[17]

Drug dangers would arise again with Herron, when the NSW Medical Board revoked his license to practice in 1997—unrelated to DST, but seven years after the Royal Commission had finalized its report condeming the drug cocktail used in DST. This was the second time Herron was brought before the NSW Medical Tribunal (the first due to allegations about his use of DST filed by Barry Hart and CCHR). The Sydney Morning Herald reported the Tribunal in 1996 found that Herron had misdiagnosed a patient and wrongly treated her with a cocktail of psychotropic drugs. Mr. Herron also “inappropriately prescribed a woman a range of sedative drugs when he knew, or ought to have known, that she was abusing prescription medicine.” He was also accused of having sex with a patient during consultations, a complaint dismissed because of patient unreliability.[18] That surely would have impacted his family.

According to nurse testimony in 2020, Herron had performed electroshock on Dr. Bailey’s DST patients nearly nightly. One nurse told the court she felt that he should have examined the patients more thoroughly before performing ECT. She asserted that Chelmsford hospital nursing staff talked about some patients having not consented to ECT, and were admitted without an ECT consent form.

Lurid headlines ran on Chelmsford for decades, apparently uncontested by the DST doctors. It had also been raised numerous times in the NSW Parliament.  Yet, despite this, they chose to contest a book published in 2016 that re-hashed years of earlier allegations, claiming it was defamatory. As in the Royal Commission, they called no expert evidence seeking to defend the use of DST.[19]

Judge Jagot stated, “They were unable to accept criticisms of their treatment of their patients and patients generally in Chelmsford who were administered DST and ECT. They appeared powerfully motivated by a need to see themselves vindicated from the serious adverse findings made by the Royal Commission against them. Their entire approach to their conduct was self-justificatory and self-exculpatory [clear oneself of blame.]

The Heroic Whistleblower Nurse Story

In addition to years of media coverage, coroner’s inquests into DST deaths—based on medical evidence, and despite Chelmsford doctors defending it—had linked patient deaths to the practice and highlighted its serious dangers. This vindicated both the patients who complained of terrible long-term damage, and the whistleblower nurse, Rosa Nicholson, who first obtained the evidence against DST, which was handed over to the NSW Attorney General to act and helped CCHR get four coroner’s inquests re-opened.[20]

Rosa should never have been put in a position where she felt she needed to entrench herself in Chelmsford hospital—working there for over a year in 1977-78—when she photocopied records to provide to the government in order to protect patient lives. This was especially needed to move the “wholly shiftless” Health Department to put patients before doctors, Rosa said.Rosa and I worked together for many years after she left Chelmsford hospital and began testifying in patient death inquests. Her identity was kept secret—in fear for her life—other than to several police and Health Department officers, and a few journalists.  Following her testimony given to the Royal Commission, she was unable to get a job in her beloved nursing profession again.

Of Rosa, Justice Slattery, who headed the Royal Commission, said:

  • “I carefully observed Miss Nicholson in the witness box and I formed a favorable impression of her. She was cross examined with some vigor about the deceit she used to obtain her job at the hospital and the fact that she had taken records. She was asked: ‘You are quite happy morally in your own mind about thieving in those circumstances, are you?’ She answered, ‘No, I am not happy about having to be in that situation. I would have been much happier if something had been done about Chelmsford so I didn’t feel the need to do something to protect the patients and future people who needed help.’”

Pat Griffen, the lawyer who represented Rosa in the inquiry, approached the judge, stating:

“We seek from this Commission a public acknowledgment in respect to Rosa’s courage and determination in seeking to uncover what was going on at Chelmsford in an attempt to protect her fellow citizens.  If others had adopted her view per personal responsibility and civic duty, the tragedy may have been avoided or minimized.”

The Royal Commission did exactly that.

Chelmsford: “Everything that is wrong with psychiatry.”

Chelmsford stands for everything that is wrong with psychiatry. It exemplified the need for accountability, including criminal prosecutions, as necessary, in patient deaths; and to instill safeguards and rights to prevent similar abuse in the future.

DST and Ward 10B are vital to learn from and to ensure accountability for current and future psychiatric practices. Although woefully late, in 2016, the Chelmsford psychiatrists’ peer group, the RANZCP addressed the “adverse and harmful events” that occurred at Chelmsford.[21] In 2018, its position statement on DST said intravenous barbiturates used in the practice were ineffective and hazardous.[22]

Australian governments should keep Chelmsford and Ward 10B in mind when considering current mental health industry reform and take notes from New Zealand.

In late 2019, a New Zealand Royal Commission investigating Abuse in State Care took on a more than 40-year-old case of children’s body parts, including genitals, being electroshocked and without anesthetic, as punishment at Lake Alice psychiatric hospital.  CCHR obtained a magisterial inquiry into this torture in the 1970s, which effectively shut the offensive shock ward down. The treating psychiatrist, Selwyn Leeks, moved to Australia to practice—while his NZ victims continued to suffer. In Victoria, CCHR filed complaints against Leeks to the state medical licensing board. The psychiatrist eventually surrendered his license over charges of unprofessional conduct. Separately, an Australian court ordered him to pay $55,000 in damages to a female patient he’d sexually abused.[23]

CCHR persisted in working with the Lake Alice shock survivors to help them obtain compensation in the 1990s and to fight for justice, taking the case to the United Nations. In 2012, the UN Committee on Torture put the NZ government on notice and raised concerns over a police decision to end its criminal investigation in 2009 without prosecuting Leeks or any Lake Alice staff.[24]

A December 2019 damning report from the UN Committee on Torture prompted police to reopen the case. The NZ government reported, “Police considers the allegations of ECT applied to the patients’ genitals could reach the threshold of an indecent assault under the Crimes Act 1961.” In late April 2020, New Zealand police announced that a fresh inquiry into the now closed Lake Alice hospital “treatment.”[25]

The NZ Royal Commission into Abuse in State Care also expanded the scope of its investigations into abuse at Lake Alice, with public hearings to be held sometime in 2021.[26]

Like Selwyn Leeks, Dr Bailey sexually abused his patients, including Sharon Hamilton, a dancer, who had been stabbed while performing for prisoners. Bailey helped Hamilton to get $100,000 in compensation for the jail attack, then made himself the executor of her estate until she committed suicide in 1978.

In 1985, NSW Member of Parliament, Mr. Pat Rogan, who for years also heroically championed for the deep sleep survivors, told Parliament of Dr. Bailey being found guilty of a prima facie case of professional misconduct by the NSW Medical Investigating Committee—from a complaint CCHR had filed—with 12 patients alleged to have died during deep sleep treatment (DST) and “many others damaged.”  Bailey was alleged to have had sexual relations with not just Hamilton, but also two other patients. Bailey, “faced with ruin and possible imprisonment over the consequences of deep sleep therapy at Chelmsford,” according to the RANZCP, and committed suicide before the case was referred to the Medical Disciplinary Tribunal. [27]

In July 2020 The Medical Journal of Australia published a study, “Sexual misconduct by health professionals in Australia, 2011–2016: a retrospective analysis of notifications to health regulators.” The study found notifications against doctors regarding sexual relationships with patients were more frequent for psychiatrists (15.2 notifications per 10 000 practitioner‐years and psychologists (5.0 per 10,000 practitioner‐years). The study concluded: “Further efforts are needed to prevent sexual misconduct in health care and to ensure thorough investigation of alleged misconduct.”[28]

Due to CCHR and CVAG actions, the NSW Medical Practitioner’s Act was reformed to speed up the process of investigating professional misconduct and widening the criteria of misconduct to include negligence as a ground for complaint. Phil Molan, then a lawyer working with the NSW Public Interest Advocacy Center (PIAC) said that medical consumers have “former Chelmsford patient, Barry Hart and Jan Eastgate of [CCHR] to thank.”

Hart and CCHR, along with PIAC that represented them both, were also credited with the establishment of Medical Complaints Units in Australia.  Molan wrote to Hart and me that he believed “it is as a direct result of your agitation that the Complaints Unit has been established,” which he added was “a considerable achievement.”[29] These units provide an avenue through which patients, psychiatric and otherwise, can complain about mistreatment and negligence and have it investigated.

Where do we go from here? Criminal Accountability

However, the fact that the sexual abuse of patients today is still being addressed as medical misconduct rather than as a criminal offense as in other countries such as the United States, Germany, Israel and Sweden, is evidence that Australia is not in sync with what’s needed to protect patients.

  • Reforms are needed to hold mental health practitioners, in particular, criminally accountable for any sexual contact with their patients who are very often vulnerable and disturbed.

Ban Electroshock:

In 2013, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture described electroshock without consent as “torture,” and recommended “an absolute ban on all forced and non-consensual” use of electroshock.[30]

In 2018, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) also supported a ban on all forced medical interventions against persons with disabilities, including the administration of electroshock, psychosurgery, and mind-altering drugs.[31] HRC strongly stated that countries “should reframe and recognize these practices as constituting torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment….”[32]

ECT in Australia is a $500-million-a-year industry. From 2005 to 2015, privately delivered ECT in the country increased by 87%.[33] It can still be administered in Australia without a patient’s consent—an issue highlighted best by DST survivor Barry Hart who was subjected to electroshock without signing a consent form. The ECT damage ruined his acting career and in 1980 he set a precedent when he won a lawsuit against Mr. Herron and Chelmsford hospital over the damage he suffered.[34] Hart was awarded AUS $60,000 and subsequently some 152 patients were awarded payouts of AUS $5.5 million by the NSW Victims [of Crime] Compensation Tribunal.[35]

  • Electroshock, like Deep Sleep Treatment, should be banned. Its current use without consent is internationally recognized as torture and should be litigated as such.

Psychiatric abuse in Australia remains rife. CCHR’s documentary Psychiatry: Friend or Foe? is testimony to this. So are the following:

  • An involuntarily detained patient at Graylands hospital in Western Australia repeatedly told staff restraining him to let him go and said, “You are going to kill me,” moments before he slumped to the ground and died. A post mortem examination found significant bruising on his neck and that his death was consistent with cardiac arrhythmia during restraint.[36]
  • In 2013, The Australian reported that “Coercive psychiatric practices have been linked to numerous deaths, hundreds of patient and nurse injuries and countless episodes of lasting mental trauma.” High rates of harm associated with the “dangerous” practices, while official documents revealed “gruesome” related injuries.[37]
  • Yet, in July 2020, The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reported that in 2018–19, there were 11,944 seclusion events nationally in public sector acute mental health hospital services alone—an increase from 11,316 seclusion events in 2017–18.[38]
  • Nationally, children were being physically restrained 10.9 times per 1,000 days in a mental health bed, according to AIHW.[39]
  • In 2018, Victorian coroner Peter White ruled that Melbourne grandfather, Gerard Helliar, died a preventable death when he was administered electroshock treatment. Mr. White said there was no evidence that the involuntary ECT Mr. Helliar endured could not have provided him with any relief, and ECT instead imposed further pain, discomfort, stress and a sense of hopelessness. Helliar’s life support was turned off after he attempted suicide in a hospital’s acute inpatient mental health unit. He had refused ECT and told his family and doctors that he hated the treatment and that it affected his memory.[40]
  • A June 2020 Australian study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, reinforced that rather than antidepressants reducing the risk of suicide, they increased it in Australia. Using Australia statistics, the researchers reported per-capita child, adolescent and young adult antidepressant dispensing (0–27 years old) and suicide (0–24 years) rates increased approximately 66% and 49%, respectively. Additionally, “there was a 98% increase in intentional poisonings among 5 to 19-year-olds in New South Wales and Victoria between 2006 and 2016” and commonly dispensed psychotropic drugs were the most commonly used in self-poisoning. “These results do not support claims that increased antidepressant use reduces youth suicide risk,” the study found.[41]

Despite millions of taxpayer dollars invested into Australian psychiatric/mental health, things aren’t getting better. The accountability that was seen as vital postChelmsford and Ward 10B has been non-existent.

In March, 2020, Patrick McGorry called for a national mental health strategy in response to COVID-19, because [quote] “the mental health crisis will be severe and prolonged and it’s going to affect a very large number of people.” [42] He said significant funds should be injected into “online and digital mental health services.”[43] The global mental health apps market is expected to reach nearly $4 billion by 2027.[44] McGorry wants all Australians to now be taxed an additional “mental health levy” to pay for psychiatric services![45] To cover Australian psychiatry’s continued failure to help.

Enormous barriers had to be overcome for the DST and Ward 10B patients and their advocates to speak out, including stigmatization, discrimination and a wholly shiftless idea that psychiatric practice could not be questioned and government health agencies’ failure to demand accountability. While justice was largely denied the patients (government delays, inadequate compensation and no prosecutions) the Royal Commissions and media at least gave them a voice. It raised alarm bells and it led to legislative reforms.

However, that voice needs to be much louder today and governments need to fulfill the legacy that Chelmsford, Ward 10B and numerous other mental health inquiries in the 90s that discovered patients’ lives must always be put above the reputation and livelihood of psychiatrists that harm them. And that more funding should not be injected into a mental health system that has failed—not because of lack of funds or “increasing mental illness,” but because the system doesn’t work.

It’s time to recognize what medical students in a worldwide survey believe—that psychiatry is “ineffective and unscientific,” and, as media have reported, its treatments are “oppressive and controlling,” and it is also unethical and exploitative.[46] This is as much a description fitting of Chelmsford, Ward 10B and Lake Alice in the past as it is for psychiatrists practicing in Australia today.


  • “Zombie Death Inquiry,” Sunday, 24 September 1978
  • “‘Zombie Room’ Outrage,” Sunday, 20 October 1978
  • “Brain ‘Injured by Shock Therapy,’” Daily Telegraph, 5 March 1980
  • “Drug dose dangerous, court told,” Daily Telegraph, 7 March 1980
  • “Patient’s consent issue raised by malpractice case,” The National Times, 27 July, 1980
  • “The Chelmsford File,” 60 Minutes, 1980
  • Psychiatrist on Death Charge,” The Mercury, 3 March 1983
  • “MP seeks inquiry on ‘litany of suffering,’” Sydney Morning Herald, 13 September 1984
  • “Woman died after ‘Deep Sleep’ Says Crown,” Daily Mirror, 7 November 1984
  • “Private Hospital hell-hole,” Daily Telegraph, 21 March 1985
  • “Sleep therapy ‘carried risk of death,’” The Weekend Australian, 27-28 April, 1985
  • “Victim of ‘zombie room,’” The Sun Herald, 15 September 1985
  • “Misery of ‘hell-hole’ hospital exposed in report on suicides,” The Sun, 27 May 1986
  • “Deep sleep therapy used on its inventor,” The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 June 1986
  • “Life after Deep Sleep Agony,” Newcastle Herald, 1 June 1987
  • The Sydney Morning/The Age series in 1989:
  • “30 sleep victims get $1.1 m awards,” The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 Mar. 1992
  • “Nightmare on Chelmsford,” New Scientist, 5 January 1991[47]
  • “Deep Sleep slowly gives Up its dead,” Sunday Age, 9 August 1992
  • “Fatal Episodes in Medical History,” BMJ, 1998.”[48]

[1] Ernest Hunter, “The Snake On the Caduceus: Dimensions of Medical and Psychiatric Responsibility in the Third Reich,” (Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Vol: 27, Number 1, 1993

[2] Ibid.

[3] Herron v HarperCollins Publishers Australia Pty Ltd (No 3) [2020] FCA 1687, Judgment of Jagot, J., 25 Nov. 2020.

[4] “Human Rights of People with Mental Illness,” Australian Human Rights Commission, 1993, p. 4.

[5] CCHR Australia, “Beating the Odds,” 1993.

[6] Mind Menders, RANZCP, pp. 72-73,

[7] “Patients given dosages ‘within toxic range,’” The Canberra Times, 30 Oct. 1990,

[8] CCHR Australia, “Beating the Odds,” 1993.


[10] Sue Dunlevy, “US Expert Slams Patrick McGorry’s Psychosis Model,” The Australian, 14 June 2011,

[11] Larry Hannant, “The Sleep Room (Review)”, The Canadian Historical Review, Volume 80, Number 4, December 1999, pp. 698-705,;

[12] Barbiturates Tuinal and Sodium Amytal; Serenace (antipsychotic haliperidol) and benzodiazepines, Tranxene (clorazepate dipotassium) and Dalmane (flurazepam);;



[15] Mind Menders, RANZCP, p. 69.

[16] Mind Menders, RANZCP, p. 73.

[17] “’Credibilty gap’ in deep sleep case,” The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 June 1986.

[18] “Doctor gave wrong treatment,” The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 Dec. 1996.

[19] Herron v HarperCollins Publishers Australia Pty Ltd (No 3) [2020] FCA 1687, Judgment of Jagot, J., 25 Nov. 2020, point 442

[20] John Adams inquest (26 Jan. 1978 and Jan. 1980); Sharon Hamilton (March/April 1979); Miriam Podio (1982); Audrey Francis (1986)





[25] “Extradition possible for Lake Alice torture,” Newsroom NZ, 30 Apr. 2020,

[26] “Abuse inquiry opens Lake Alice chapter,”,  24 Aug. 2020,

[27] “Dead Doctor suits ‘to cost millions,’” The Daily Telegraph, 14 Sept. 1985; Mind Menders (RANZCP), p. 70,

[28] Marie M. Bismarck, et al, “Sexual misconduct by health professionals in Australia, 2011–2016: a retrospective analysis of notifications to health regulators,” Medical Journal of Australia, 27 July 2020,

[29] Toni Eatts, “Patient pair forces medical law under the knife,” The Australian, circa 1985; “Aiding Legal Reform,” The Daily Telegraph, 8 Oct. 1985.

[30] A/HRC/22/53, “Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Méndez,” United Nations, General Assembly, Human Rights Council, Twenty-second Session, Agenda Item 3, 1 Feb. 2013, p. 21, para 85,

[31] “Mental Health and Human Rights,” United Nations Human Rights Council, 39th session; 10–28 Sept. 2018,

[32] Ibid.

[33] Nial McLaren, “Is Australia’s Psychiatric System Redeemable?” MIA, 15 Dec. 2019,

[34] “Deep Sleep Tragedy,” PIAC,

[35] Judith Healy, “Improving Health Care Safety and Quality: Reluctant Regulators,” (Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, London & New York, 2011), p. 31.,$60,000+court+win+against+electroshock&source=bl&ots=5Mfi9S27TU&sig=ACfU3U0iedek0Hx5qZIYbs9zQ0qad4Hdpw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiio8behbzrAhVQj54KHVe1DQoQ6AEwB3oECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=Barry%20Hart%20%2460%2C000%20court%20win%20against%20electroshock&f=false

[36] “‘Misadventure’ as psychiatric patient died,” WA Today, 22 Nov. 2011,

[37] Joel Magarey, “Deaths, injuries, trauma the fallout from psychiatric practices,” The Australian, 23 Jul. 2013,




[41] Martin Whitely, et al., “Antidepressant Prescribing and Suicide/Self-Harm by Young Australians: Regulatory Warnings, Contradictory Advice, and Long-Term Trends,” Frontiers in Psychiatry, 5 June 2020,

[42] “Coronavirus will likely lead to more mental health issues in young adults, Patrick McGorry warns – Health,” Live24x7News, 28 Mar. 2020,

[43] “Coronavirus will likely lead to more mental health issues in young adults, Patrick McGorry warns – Health,” Live24x7News, 28 Mar. 2020,



[46] H Stuart, N Sartorius, and T Liinamaa, “Images of psychiatry and psychiatrists,” Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2015 Jan; 131(1): 21–28,


[48] “Fatal episodes on medical history.” BMJ, 5 Dec. 1998; 317(7172): 1599,

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