Meeting on the Rights of Persons with Mental Health Problems

On December 19 and 20, 2023, the Public Defender’s Office held a working meeting on the rights of persons with mental health problems. Psychiatrists from various mental health clinics, representatives of non-governmental organizations and employees of the Public Defender's Office participated in the meeting.

Problematic issues of protecting the rights of voluntary, involuntary and forced psychiatric patients were the topics discussed at the meeting. In particular, the meeting participants talked about the restriction of various rights of hospitalized patients, including the right to refuse treatment during voluntary treatment, use of the so-called "rapid tranquilization" ("chemical restraint") and legal regulation of forced treatment.

Employees of the Strategic Litigation Division of the Public Defender of Georgia presented a brief overview of the constitutional lawsuits filed by the Public Defender regarding the rights of psychiatric patients.

Other topics discussed included the need for a blanket ban on interviewing a person with mental problems, shortcomings related to the legal identification of mental health problems and forced treatment.

During the discussion, the participants discussed legal and practical issues and solutions to the problems.

The meeting was supported by the USAID Rule of Law Program.

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