Involuntary Hospitalisation and the Rights of Mental Patients in Recent Croatian Legislation
Bosanac, Sanja Babic
Medicine and Law: World Association for Medical Law 2002; 21(1): 87-106
This paper presents and critically analyses the provisions of the Croatian Act of 1998 on the Protection of Persons with a Mental Illness relating to involuntary hospitalisation and the rights of psychiatric patients. This analysis also encompasses the amendments and supplements of 1999. The paper identifies the problems that have arisen in the application of this Act and discusses the causes of these problems. The paper concludes that the passing of new psychiatric legislation or any radical reform of the existing legislation must be preceded by a comprehensive discussion by professionals, scientists and the broader public, which would result in the passing of legislation which can be implemented in terms of organisation, staffing and financing. Without this, any new psychiatric legislation, even if it met the highest international legal standards, would be exposed to the danger of being merely declarative, which would bring most harm to mental patients themselves.
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