Are/were you a "danger to yourself and others" at UWIC?

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jonathanbishop
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Hi,

I was a student at Cardiff Metropolitan University (UWIC). I had a medical condition I did not want to disclose to them because I thought they would not be able to understand it.

When I did disclose it they said I was "a danger to myself and others" and because I would not allow them access to my medical records they withdrew me from my course.

As I understand it, even if I were actually a "danger to myself and others" because of my disability surely the university still have to provide me with an education as it would be disability discrimination to do otherwise?

I have put those links above because when I wrote about my own situation on my own blog, UWIC's solicitors threatened to sue me for defamation if I did not remove them, but hopefully they can't do that here.

Would be helpful to hear if others have had similar problems, as it is kind of head-banging how this can happen when the law would suggest it shouldn't be allowed to.
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Klix88
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(Original post by jonathanbishop)
As I understand it, even if I were actually a "danger to myself and others" because of my disability surely the university still have to provide me with an education as it would be disability discrimination to do otherwise?
Their legal position would be based on their belief that you posed a genuine danger to other students and staff. That being the case, they would be putting many people in harm's way by allowing you to continue on your course. This would leave the uni open to legal action if you actually did injure others at some point.

It seems to be a position where the rights of the many can't be over-ridden by the rights of the few.

It's a shame you didn't feel able to take it further. Without detailed background knowledge of your condition or proper medical advice, the uni was bound to misunderstand it or decide to err on the side of caution.
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balotelli12
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Despite the video the law offers you absolute protection. Declaring your condition would open access to a whole raft of support for you. I really don't think you can have it both ways. Defamatory material can be prosecuted wherever it is on the web. You have now left this site at risk of legal action by UWIC for allowing you to post something they consider defamatory. Your own legal position has also been further compromised because you are now promoting something you have been told is actionable.
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jonathanbishop
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(Original post by Klix88)
Their legal position would be based on their belief that you posed a genuine danger to other students and staff. That being the case, they would be putting many people in harm's way by allowing you to continue on your course. This would leave the uni open to legal action if you actually did injure others at some point.
That might be their position, but surely that in itself is defamation because they can provide no evidence that that is true? If you look at these regulations you can see there are only a small number of medical conditions where someone is "a danger to themselves and others" that do not count as disabilities:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2...ulation/4/made
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2...ulation/3/made

As these do not apply to me then my impairment/disability falls within these provisions of the Equality Act 2010:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/6
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/...rt/6/chapter/2
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/15

Therefore under the law, should Cardiff Metropolitan University, and indeed any university, be prohibited from treating me less favourably than those without my medical condition? (i.e. disability/impairment)

(Original post by balotelli12)
You have now left this site at risk of legal action by UWIC for allowing you to post something they consider defamatory.
I was careful not to repeat anything alleged to be defamatory, and admin approved this post before it was displayed.
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River85
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(Original post by jonathanbishop)
I have put those links above because when I wrote about my own situation on my own blog, UWIC's solicitors threatened to sue me for defamation if I did not remove them, but hopefully they can't do that here.
I'm not an expert in media law, but I believe they still can. Also, I trust that isn't your real name?

Anyway, I'm afraid I've edited the links out of your post. I don't feel it's really appropriate to draw attention to other peoples' experiences when they aren't here to comment themselves. We also try and avoid allowing people to post many links that would take traffic off the site (though personal blogs are usually OK).

I haven't had an experience like yours, but I have been (or was close to becoming a victim of) discrimination during my time as an undergraduate. Very different situation to yours, though, and as a whole the university were reasonably supportive.

I do know that complaints and legal action made by students with disabilities has risen in recent years, or certainly had up to around 2010, and my alma mater was subject to a record number of formal complaints made by students with disabilities in the year I submitted my formal complaint, as well as two reasonably well publicised instances of legal action (both settled outside court).
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balotelli12
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There is no such thing as media law. Libel is the same whether it is on the internet or the oriented page.
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River85
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(Original post by balotelli12)
There is no such thing as media law. Libel is the same whether it is on the internet or the oriented page.
Errrr....yes there is :confused:
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balotelli12
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But libel and it's implications make no distinction
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jonathanbishop
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I have written articles for Westlaw on multimedia law, including in reference to the Defamation Acts. Since January the law on defamation has been tightened up with the Defamation Act 2013 coming in to force. That won't stop opportunists threatening legal action to try to censor free speech they find inconvenient however. There is still the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 which is essentially a charter for the rich and powerful to get unfavourable content about them online removed with an injunction.
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