Ethical Challenges in the Use of Coercion in Psychiatry


University of Aarhus, Fredriksberg, Denmark


Psychiatry is a discipline where there is a particular need of ethical codes, and several psychiatric associations have established ethical committees, including the European Psychiatric Association.

The paper will present data from a survey carried out in the Danish psychiatric Association and discuss a project in which the aim was to reduce coercion.

Based upon these results the role and ethical aspects of using coercion in psychiatric care will be analyzed. The historical aspects will be outlined and how coercion is perceived by those having experienced it. Special focus will be on the patients’ experiences and what is the outcome of using it. Finally, the global dimension will be presented.