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    The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the medico-legal and human rights of psychiatric patients


    Thome, Johannes and Coogan, Andrew and Simon, Frederick and Fischer, Matthias and Tucha, Oliver and Faltraco, Frank and Marazziti, Donatella and Butzer, Hermann (2020) The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the medico-legal and human rights of psychiatric patients. European Psychiatry, 63 (E50). ISSN 1778-3585

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    Abstract

    The COVID-19 pandemic has raised significant concerns for population mental health and the effective provision of mental health services in the light of increased demands and barriers to service delivery [1]. Particular attention is being directed toward the possible neuropsychiatric sequelae of both COVID-19 and of the stringent societal mitigation steps deployed by national governments, concerns that are informed by historical increases in the incidence of psychotic disorders following influenza pandemics [2]. However, so far there has been scant attention paid to other important areas of psychiatry during COVID-19, including medico-legal aspects and human rights. In this paper, we discuss the legal implications for psychiatry of the COVID-19 pandemic and report a novel situation in which psychiatric patients may experience diminution of their statutory protections. We believe that this represents a paradigm shift in psychiatric care and that the consideration of the fundamental rights of psychiatric patients as “less important” than infection control measures compel mental health professionals to “advocate for … patients and their caregivers” in this time of crisis [1].

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Cite as: Thome, J., Coogan, A., Simon, F., Fischer, M., Tucha, O., Faltraco, F., . . . Butzer, H. (2020). The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the medico-legal and human rights of psychiatric patients. European Psychiatry, 63(1), E50. doi:10.1192/j.eurpsy.2020.58
    Keywords: COVID-19; medico-legal rights; human rights; psychiatric patients; mental health services;
    Academic Unit: Assisting Living & Learning,ALL institute
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Research Institutes > Human Health Institute
    Item ID: 15057
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1192/j.eurpsy.2020.58
    Depositing User: Dr. Andrew Coogan
    Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2021 16:22
    Journal or Publication Title: European Psychiatry
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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