“Challenges and controversies regarding involuntary hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital. Ethical aspects”

Claudia Anghel 1  and Ciprian Băcilă 2
  • 1 Asociația Spitalului de Psihiatrie “Dr. Gh. Preda” Sibiu,
  • 2 Universitatea „Lucian Blaga” din Sibiu, Facultatea de Medicină


It is crucial to inform the public about the procedures in psychiatric practice, meant to ensure complex and adequate medical care for the mentally ill patient, in respect of the dignity and rights of the patient, but also according to legal regulations. The occurrence of twisted considerations about psychiatry and patients with mental illness is due to the lack of information about mental illness, the beneficial effects of drug therapy, the need for hospitalization and patient protection in a psychiatric hospital, as part of treatment. When a psychiatric patient is brought in the guard room of a psychiatric hospital by the public services (EMT, police, public guardians, etc.), by his family or when the patient voluntarily asks to be hospitalized (the ideal model), they will receive complex medical care in full respect for his rights. Some situations occur when the patient refuses to express his consent regarding the consultation, diagnosis, treatment or even hospitalization (surveillance and monitoring) in the psychiatric hospital, considering unjustified any approach in this regard and that this violates his fundamental rights. The form of hospitalization, without the patient’s consent, is called involuntary hospitalization (sectioned). This raises an issue between “respecting the patient’s rights” if he is acting to endanger himself or others or “restricting” them by involuntary hospitalization, which would increase the quality of care and patient safety.

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  • American Psychiatric Association, The Principles of Medical Ethics with Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry, Arlington, USA, 2013 Edition.

  • Scripcaru, Gh., Ciuc, A., Astărăstoae, V., Scripcaru, C., Bioetica, științele vieții și drepturile omului, București, Ed. Polirom, 1998.

  • Scripcaru, Gh., Boișteanu, P., Astărăstoae, V., Chirita, V., Scripcaru, C., Psihiatrie medico-legală, București, Ed. Polirom, 2002.

  • Legea Drepturilor Pacientului nr. 46/2003, disponibilă la: http://legislatie.just.ro/Public/DetaliiDocument/41483, accesat la data 25.04.2020

  • Legea sănătăţii mintale şi a protecţiei persoanelor cu tulburări psihice nr. 487/2002, disponibilă la: http://legislatie.just.ro/Public/DetaliiDocumentAfis/37898, accesat la 26.04.2020.


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