Mental Health Law
China’s first mental health law (精神卫生法) was ratified on Oct. 26, 2012, a few days ahead of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), a crucial event in the reshuffle of the Party’s leadership.
The law, implemented on May 1st, 2013, is designed to protect the fundamental rights, including the dignity, safety and property, of people ailed by psychiatric illnesses.
It prohibits any confinements that have been adopted against the psychiatric patients’ legal rights and specifies the conditions under which patients need to be hospitalized for further treatment.
Nevertheless, some legal experts, like Huang Xuetao, a lawyer specialized in the mental health sector, believe the law still needs to be amended because it would give the custodians of the psychiatric patients too many rights and does not yet clarify the maximum period of the hospitalization for those who need to be under close observation.
Huang also pointed out that the law lacks an article that would allow psychiatric patients to hire attorneys to safeguard their rights when they are hospitalized.
To read the full text of the mental health law in Chinese please click the link below: