Three years ago, J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame, blasted use of caged beds in psychiatric hospitals of the Czech Republic forcing psychiatrists to ban their further use. Caged beds used to handle a few patients were eight feet long, three feet wide and four feet high. A 14 year old girl died when her bed collapsed leading to a fractured skull.
Rowling revisted Prague last month leading to further debate about her critique of caged beds. Some Czech psychiatrists argue all she did was frighten potential patients away from entering a psychiatric hospital. Other psychiatrists believe caged beds are inhumane treatment which is akin to torturing people. The central issue is who decides what is effective mental health treatment, and who establishes limits, if any, on the actions of mental health practitioners.