CPT on Ethical Challenges in Mental Health Care


West-Tallinn Central Hospital, Centre of Psychiatry, Tallinn, Estonia


Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is body in the Council of Europe that is mandated to look after human rights issues in places of detention. This also includes psychiatric hospitals and nursing homes where persons can be placed against their own will. Over the years CPT has made recommendations to the governments of the member states of the Council of Europe to improve the conditions in places of detention and to provide legal safeguards for persons in detention, including mental patients.

The presentation will focus on the basic principles of safeguarding mental patients who have been placed to institutions against their will the possible ethical dilemmas in this context – the role of the doctor versus expert, the right of patients to refuse treatment, strict rules on the use of restraints, reporting mechanisms of violent incidents etc.