Neuroscience Bulletin

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 99–112 | Cite as

Involuntary admission and treatment of patients with mental disorder

  • Simei Zhang
  • Graham Mellsop
  • Johann Brink
  • Xiaoping WangEmail author


Despite the efforts of the World Health Organization to internationally standardize strategies for mental-health care delivery, the rules and regulations for involuntary admission and treatment of patients with mental disorder still differ markedly across countries. This review was undertaken to describe the regulations and mental-health laws from diverse countries and districts of Europe (UK, Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, and Norway), the Americas (Canada, USA, and Brazil), Australasia (Australia and New Zealand), and Asia (Japan and China). We outline the criteria and procedures for involuntary admission to psychiatric hospitals and to community services, illustrate the key features of laws related to these issues, and discuss their implications for contemporary psychiatric practice. This review may help to standardize the introduction of legislation that allows involuntary admission and treatment of patients with mental disorders in the mainland of China, and contribute to improved mental-health care. In this review, involuntary admission or treatment does not include the placement of mentally-ill offenders, or any other aspect of forensic psychiatry.


involuntary admission involuntary treatment mental-health legislation compulsory admission commitment criteria 


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Copyright information

© Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simei Zhang
    • 1
  • Graham Mellsop
    • 2
  • Johann Brink
    • 3
  • Xiaoping Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Mental Health Institute of The Second Xiangya Hospital, Hunan Province Technology Institute of Psychiatry, Key Laboratory of Psychiatry and Mental Health of Hunan ProvinceCentral South UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.Waikato Clinical SchoolUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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