Countries offering good psychiatric care which respects their clients’ dignity and human rights can be expected to reflect this fact in their official health statistics. Given that European data on compulsory hospitalisation are currently inadequate, we propose that all Member States should collect at least a basic set of figures for calculating the rates or quotas of compulsory admissions and the rate of legally indefensible detentions; this will allow us to examine both the actual cost of freedom lost as well as the extent to which national mental health laws are delivered as prescribed. As shown here by the example of Greece, there is an urgent need to focus on possible infringements on the rights of the mentally ill, because Member States can nοt be compelled to accept international monitoring or to observe minimum standards of mental health care.

Key words: Involuntary admissions, psychiatric services, legal procedures, quality of care.

D.J. Pallis, N.S. Apostolou, M.P. Economou, C.N. Stefanis (page 307) - Full article