Mental health legislation in Lebanon: Nonconformity to international standards and clinical dilemmas in psychiatric practice

  • Kerbage H
  • El Chammay R
  • Richa S
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Mental health legislation represents an important mean of protecting the rights of persons with mental disabilities by preventing human rights violations and discrimination and by legally reinforcing the objectives of a mental health policy. The last decade has seen significant changes in the laws relating to psychiatric practice all over the world, especially with the implementation of the Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). In this paper, we review the existing legislation in Lebanon concerning the following areas in mental health: treatment and legal protection of persons with mental disabilities, criminal laws in relation to offenders with mental disorders, and laws regulating incapacity. We will discuss these texts in comparison with international recommendations and standards on the rights of persons with disabilities, showing the recurrent contradiction between them. Throughout our article, we will address the clinical dilemmas that Lebanese psychiatrists encounter in practice, in the absence of a clear legislation that can orient their decisions and protect their patients from abuse.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Human rights
  • Lebanese mental health legislation
  • World Health Organization

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  • Hala Kerbage

  • Rabih El Chammay

  • Sami Richa

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