Enhancing the Protection of Medical Human Rights for Mental Patients in Taiwan
- *Corresponding Author:
- E-mail: [email protected]
The Mental Health Act (MHA) in Taiwan was developed in 1990 to protect patients. It was introduced to provide legislative recognition that people with mental illness have rights to reasonable treatment. After a few minor modifications and a substantial revision in 2007, the revised version was formally enacted on July 4, 2008. According to the newly developed regulations, in addition to an evaluation by two designated certificated psychiatrists within two days, whether a patient requires compulsory hospitalization will also be reviewed and decided by the committee --Psychiatric Disease Mandatory Assessment and Community Care Review Committee---of mandatory evaluation within five days and the maximum length of an order is 60 days. Since the 2007 version of the Mental Health Act was implemented, the number of the patients with mandatory hospitalizations was significantly reduced by 77%, corresponding to a decrease from 3,129 in 2006 and 3,171 in 2007 to 728 in 2014. Only 1.46% of these individuals were compulsorily hospitalized, which is significantly lower than the 6-58% in the United States and Europe. The human rights of patients in mental health care were further protected, which is a substantial achievement in mental health care!