Past Issues

A History of Mental Health Law in Taiwan

Wei-Tse Hsu, Hui-Ching Wu, Frank Huang-Chih Chou

Taiwan Mental Health Act with 52 articles was established in 1990. Based on the first edition of Mental Health Act (MHA), it was intended to balance between the patients’ rights and the society’s harmony. Following a few minor modifications and a substantial revision in 2007, the revised version of the MHA was formally enacted on July 4, 2008. This MHA Amendment includes 7 chapters and 63 articles. Its aims are (A) to protect and prohibit discrimination against psychiatric patients; (B) to help patients and their families with recovery, as well as to help mental health providers and goverment in research and treatment decisions. (C) to ensure that the final decision on the compulsory admission of severe mental illness (SMI) patients should be approved by the Psychiatric Disease Mandatory Assessment and Community Care Review Committee (PDMACCRC); (D) to encourage patients to return and stay in the community; and (E) to enhance preventive psychiatric medicine for mental health promotion. One of the most important articles is procedure changes of compulsory treatment. Basically, it is to protect psychotic patients’ rights and to encourage patients to return to community. After the 2007 MHA Amendment of Taiwan, patient with SMI who is dangerous to self or others and if he/she should receive compulsory psychiatric treatment which should be reviewed by the Psychiatric Illness Mandatory Appraisal and Community Treatment Review Panel (PIMACTRP), in addition to evaluation by two designed licensed psychiatrists. Otherwise, mandatory community treatment was established in this MHA Amendment. The alternative treatment offers another compulsory treatment with lower limitation for patient’s freedom.
Key Word Mental Health Act (MHA), severely mental illness (SMI), compulsory treatment, Psychiatric Illness Mandatory Appraisal and Community Treatment Review Panel(PIMACTRP)
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