Fiona & Bo

Consent is more than just yes or no

In this chapter,Fiona shares her experiences of the Irish mental health system both when her decisions were and were not respected, including her admission interview to psychiatric hospital, participation in a training video for a young doctor, and her experience with different professionals regarding medication. Fiona’s stories not only raise doubts about the legitimacy of consent sought by professionals when granted with coercive power, but also reflect on the trauma, both physically and emotionally, inflicted when her wishes were not taken into account during treatment. On the other hand, a positive result and mutual trust between Fiona and her service provider was only possible as the capacity law inIreland did not jump in as a disabling barrier. Bo’s response looks at how genuine and meaningful consent should be sought, the potential repercussions of the Irish Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015, and the new space created by the UNCRPD for advocacy and service users’ involvement in the mental health system.


My name is Fiona Anderson.

I am from Ireland/Australia.

My 7 word autobiography is: Crusader striving for justice to be served.     


My name is Bo Chen.

I am from Mainland China.

My 7 word autobiography is: a humble learner of restoring “impossible” rights.