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Waikato Inc.
65 Tawa Street, Hamilton, New Zealand
Telephone: International + 64 – 7 – 8435837
Contact: Anna de Jonge
Email: rens.dej@clear.net.nz
PRAWI Community Adult Education

Patients' Rights Advocacy Education Day

Time: Sunday, June 20, 2004, 9.30am - 5pm.

Venue: 58 Palmerston St., Seventh Day Adventist Hall, Hamilton, New Zealand. Registration fee $10.00. Please register as soon as possible. Display stands are available for $20.00. They need to be set-up before 9.30 am.

Agenda & Speakers:

10.00am - 11.00am: Max Weinberg, Waikato Sports.

11.00am - 12.00 noon: Dr Tony Coates: What SSRI antidepressants can do to people.

12.00am - 1.00pm: Lunch.

1.00pm - 2.00 pm: Dr John Read talking about his new book: "Models of Madness: The Damaging Role of the Pharmaceutical Industry". Dr John Read works in the Psychology Department, The University of Auckland and is editor of "Models of Madness: Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Schizophrenia", London: Brunner-Routledge, 2004. The book will be on sale special price NZ $59.95 or can be ordered via book.orders@tandf.co.uk.

2.00pm - 3.00pm: Steve Green and Mo McLeary. Drug free ambassadors.

Afternoon tea.

3.00pm - 4.00pm: Alvos Judy & Arch Williams from Tauranga Nutritional Health and Therapy.

4.00pm - 5.00pm: Panel discussion.

Registration: $10.00 per person. Morning and afternoon tea, soup for lunch included. Please send cheque, payable to The Patients Rights' Advocay, 65 Tawa Street, Hamilton NZ.

Supported by Patients' Rights Advocacy Waikato Incorporated, New Zealand.



Established in the early 1980s, Patients' Rights Advocacy (PRAWI) became an incorporated society in 1988. Membership is currently 400, including a number of law firms, health practitioners and organisations with an interest in patients' advocacy. Funding is by subscriptions, donations and grants.

The Society is linked to a number of similar patients' advocacy groups overseas and while regular contact is maintained, the internet and e-mail provide immediate updates on International news, issues and developments in the field of patients' advocacy. We assist patients to exercise their rights in the health area; encouraging compliance with laws and codes of practice within the health professions and empowering people with information and knowledge to enable them to be more responsible when dealing with the health system.

In 1998 the Hon. Bill English stated that New Zealand had the highest rate of adverse reactions to drugs in the world. We want to reverse these statistics by educating patients about drug effects. We are educating the public and the Government on the effects of Benzodiazepine drugs i.e. addiction and horrible withdrawal effects. When patients compare stories on drug effects, it is evident they were not given full information on drugs prescribed even though the law requires this.

In 1999 the Benzodiazepines were reclassified as controlled drugs under class C. Many patients have been taking Benzodiazepines for years without recognising the effects. Common Benzodiazepine drugs are: Ativan, Valium (diazepam), Mogadon, Halcion, Xanax, Rivotril, Rohypnol, but there are numerous others in the category. These drugs create the various effects they are intending to treat: e.g. anxiety, stuttering, blurred vision, muscle fatigue, agoraphobia, fears, anger, memory loss, confusion, lack of concentration, sleep disturbance and more adverse effects.

There are restrictions on the prescribing of Benzodiazepines of which many people are unaware. Withdrawal from these drugs must be gradual and monitored. No psychotropic drug should be stopped suddenly because of the risk of rebound effects which can be extremely severe.

Patients Rights' Advocacy Waikato Inc, assists patients in making complaints, affidavits, attending and organising seminars, assisting with research on health, preparing compensation claims for personal injury by accident, Medical Misadventure, Medical Error and Benzodiazepine claims for submission to the ARCIC. The Society has also been successful in overturning a number of previous ACC decisions.

Some of our members have published their own books, videos and stories. These stories have had healing effects for others similarly affected by drugs or adverse treatments. Validation of what happens to people 'behind the scenes' in the health system is very important. Other members are unable to read, write, remember or comprehend because of iatrogenesis. This reinforces the commitment of the group to work and educate in a role, preventing doctor induced injuries (iatrogenesis) wherever and whenever possible.


The objectives of Patients' Rights Advocacy Waikato Incorporated are:

  • to assist patients to exercise their rights in the health area and to improve and encourage compliance with laws and codes of practice.

  • To provide people with information and knowledge to enable them to be responsible for their own health.

  • To promote accountability within the medical profession, including correct diagnosis and a code of rights.

  • To assist with obtaining personal records, informing patients about their legal rights, assisting with legal representation, personal injuries by accident, Medical Misadventure Benzodiazepine Claims, redress through the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Corporation.

  • Patients' Rights Advocacy Waikato Incorporated exists to assist patients and, provide assistance to any patient, either in or out of hospital. It is independent of providers. Our aim is to help people with the lodging of complaints. We are concerned about the malpractice, procedures for informed consent, and the lack of it. Doctors can no longer be their own judge and jury. The public needs more than national 'guidelines', it needs legislation. We have 'guidelines' now, but they do not work well for clients.

  • The patient must know what is going on. The patient should be protected. The patient has our full support.


The Key Objective is to empower people with knowledge on a wide range of health related issues such as iatrogenesis, a situation which is drug induced by medical intervention.

Members receive a Resource Handbook outlining good contacts, literature and videos, which assist with understanding patients' rights, informed consent and choices.

Our pamphlets provide information highlighting the direct effects of psychiatric drugs. This information is not readily disclosed to the patient.

We also help patients to obtain copies of their medical records and assist victims of iatrogenesis.

Patients' Rights Advocacy is totally independent of any of the government funded health, education and advocacy providers.

Patients' Rights Advocacy provides individuals and organisations with support, education and training. It has a close working relationship with a number of law firms throughout the country.


Anna de Jonge is a Patients' Rights Advocate at Hamilton, New Zealand. Anna did her Post Graduate Operating Theatre training at Rotterdam, The Netherlands and worked for thirty years in the medical profession, including twenty three years as an operating theatre charge sister of ten operating theatres at Health Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Anna also studied Ethics in Science and Medicine in 1984 and Women and The Law in 1988, at Waikato University, Hamilton New Zealand.

Her work focuses on issues of Patients' Rights and their impact on the lives of people. She has published ten papers [see below] on the misuse of psychiatric drugs at national and international conferences.

The recently compiled information pamphlet on Patients' Rights Advocacy outlines the approach to victims of unwarranted drug administration: information on the dangers and effects of such prescriptions and the help, advice and comfort that the Patients' Rights Advocacy offers with the address and telephone number.

In September 2000, Anna advocated for a patient in an Accident Compensation Review claim, which had been declined for cover for a Benzodiazepine claim in respect of personal injury by Medical Misadventure through the prescription and addiction of Halcion (triazolam) a Benzodiazepine.

The decision of the Review Officer was in favour of the patient. She won on Medical Error.


  1. de Jonge, A. (1988) The Struggle for Human Rights and the Law. Women's Studies Conference Nelson, New Zealand.

  2. de Jonge, A. (1990) Patients' Rights Advocacy, Palmerston North University, New Zealand. The Fourth International Congress.

  3. de Jonge, A. (1992) Benzodiazepines. Presented at the Fifth International Congress on Women's Health Issues Environment; Daily Life and Health 25 – 28 August 1992, Copenhagen Denmark.

  4. de Jonge, A. (1993) Benzodiazepines Women's Studies Conference Auckland University, New Zealand.

  5. de Jonge, A. (1993) Neuroleptic Drugs. Presented at the International Seminar on Bioethics 22 – 26 November 1993. Bioethics Research Centre Knox College Dunedin, New Zealand.

  6. de Jonge, A. (1995) The Use and Abuse of Drugs in New Zealand International Conference Health and Well-being in a Diverse Society, Perth, Western Australia, Edith Cowan University.

  7. de Jonge, A. (1995) Tardive Dyskinesia T.D. Iatrogenic Disease. Open Forum for Health Information. Petone, New Zealand.

  8. de Jonge, A. (1996) The Ethics of Compulsory Treatment in New Zealand, 18th World Congress on Rehabilitation International, Auckland, New Zealand.

  9. de Jonge, A. (1997) The Inclusion on Benzodiazepines in the Schedules of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. Presented at the Collaborating for Health 1 – 3 July 1997. Public Health Association Conference 1997. Hamilton, New Zealand.

  10. Simperingham, A. (1997) Exemplary Damages in Claims against Health Care Providers. Hamilton, New Zealand.

  11. de Jonge, A. (2000) New Zealand Drug Compensating Scheme. Beat The Benzos Conference, Croydon, England. 1 – 2 November 2000.

65 Tawa Street, Hamilton, New Zealand
Telephone: International + 64 – 7 – 8435837
Contact: Anna de Jonge
Email: rens.dej@clear.net.nz

PRAWI Community Adult Education · Australia & New Zealand Page

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