Violation of the rights of mentally-ill persons
Persons with mental illness are especially vulnerable as disadvantaged persons whose rights have been restricted. Medical and psychotherapeutic technology can constitute a threat to the physical and intellectual integrity of the mentally-ill individual. There have been disturbing reports the scientific and technological products and methods have been misused in the treatment of persons detained on ground of mental illness.
The rights of mentally ill people have been outlined in the UN Commission of Human Right's "Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and for the Improvement of Mental Health Care (1991). They cover the following areas: access to fundamental freedoms and basic rights; protection of minors; rights to life in the community and community care; rights in respect of diagnosis, examination, standards of care, treatment and medication; notice of rights and complaints procedure, access to personal information and rights to confidentiality; rights and conditions in mental health facilities (including equal status with other health establishments, admission principles, and review); procedural safeguards; and the rights of the criminal offenders who are mentally ill.
While it is important to protect mentally ill persons from abuse and to ensure than the label of mental illness is not an excuse for inappropriately limiting the rights of people, it is equally important to protect mentally ill persons from neglect and to ensure that their needs for care and treatment, especially those of person integrated in the community, are satisfied. Only a few mentally-ill people require hospitalization. Admission to a mental health facility should take place only when community care facilities are not appropriate or available.