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

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Thome, J.; Coogan, A.N.; Simon, F.; Fischer, M.; Tucha, O. et al.: The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the medico-legal and human rights of psychiatric patients. In: European psychiatry : the journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists 63 (2020), Nr. 1, e50. DOI:

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Sum total of downloads: 67

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].
License of this version: CC BY 4.0 Unported
Document Type: Article
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2020
Appears in Collections:Juristische Fakultät

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pos. country downloads
total perc.
1 image of flag of Germany Germany 35 52.24%
2 image of flag of United States United States 17 25.37%
3 image of flag of China China 9 13.43%
4 image of flag of Poland Poland 2 2.99%
5 image of flag of No geo information available No geo information available 1 1.49%
6 image of flag of Taiwan Taiwan 1 1.49%
7 image of flag of Russian Federation Russian Federation 1 1.49%
8 image of flag of United Kingdom United Kingdom 1 1.49%

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