A New Zealand mother whose son died after being restrained in a Japanese psychiatric hospital is to present a petition to the Japanese government to stop using the restraints.
Kelly Savage, who was 27 and bi-polar, was admitted to a psychiatric hospital following a manic episode in May last year, but died 10 days later when his breathing and heart stopped.
The exact cause of his death is not known, but it's believed Deep Veined Thrombosis or DVT, is a probable cause, because he wasn't able to move.
He was tied to his bed with leg, waist and wrist restraints almost the entire time he was in the hospital.
The Savage family is now campaigning for the end of restraints in Japanese psychiatric hospitals.
Kelly's mother, Martha, told Nine to Noon Japan's treatment of the mentally unwell was akin to the middle ages.
"They still keep people for years in not only restraints, but also in isolation. The United Nations considers both to be torture. So they're allowing their hospitals to torture patients under the auspices of care," she said.
She said the number of people being held in restraints had doubled in the last 10 years and currently 10,000 patients are being held in restraints.
"They say it's to try and keep them from hurting themselves, but they tie them down and they give them intravenous medicine, which in Kelly's case made him very out of it. So he wasn't any kind of danger to anybody, he was just lying there. So there's no real reason to keep him in restraints. Except they don't have many people taking care of them, there's one nurse for every 48 patients," she said.
Regular hospitals aren't allowed such low staffing ratios, but psychiatric hospitals are, Mrs Savage said.
Kelly's death wasn't an isolated incident, six months later another man died in similar circumstances.
Mrs Savage said because her son was moved to another hospital before his death, there was no investigation, or coronial inquest.
"In Japan there's this law that was supposed to be making hospitals be reviewed, if there's a death in the hospital. But the law is toothless, because the hospital's have to agree to it. So if the hospital administrator for whatever reason, they don't have to give any real reason, they just give a fake reason like 'it was not in our hospital'," she said.
The Japanese Health Ministry did start an investigation, which was supposed to be finished by 31 March, but it failed to reach an agreement.
"They said they had representatives from the patients, and hospitals, and lawyers and so on but they couldn't come to agreement by the time they were supposed to finish. So they didn't tell us what they were going to do about that," she said.
This Thursday - the anniversary of her son's death - Mrs Savage will present her petition to Japan's Health Ministry, and says she'll be asking for three things.
"I want Japan to stop allowing psychiatric hospitals to kill their patients through their poor care. To do that I want them to acknowledge the problem exists, I want them to change the laws and I want them to enforce the laws when they're changed," she said.
The petition is open until tomorrow.