Current legislation on admission of mentally ill patients in China


Shao, Yang, Bin Xie, Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good, and Byron J Good. 2010. “Current legislation on admission of mentally ill patients in China”. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 33:52 - 57.


Objective To date, there is no systematic analysis of mental health laws and their implementation across the People's Republic of China. This article aims to describe and analyze current legal frameworks for voluntary and involuntary admissions of mentally ill patients in the five cities of China that currently have municipal mental health regulations. Methods Information on the legislation and practice of involuntary admission in the five cities was gathered and assessed using the “WHO Checklist on Mental Health Legislation.” The checklist was completed for each city by a group of psychiatrists trained in mental health legislation. Results Although the mental health regulations in these five cities cover the basic principles needed to meet international standards of mental health legislation, some defects in the legislation remain. In particular, these regulations lack detail in specifying procedures for dealing with admission and treatment and lack oversight and review mechanisms and procedures for appeal of involuntary admission and treatment. Conclusions A more comprehensive and enforceable national mental health act is needed in order to ensure the rights of persons suffering mental illness in terms of admission and treatment procedures. In addition, more research is needed to understand how the current municipal regulations of mental health services in these cities are implemented in routine practice.