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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 45 (2003) 9, 569 - 573

Case report

The BOPZ law, the WGBO law or towards a new compulsory treatment law?

A.J.K. Hondius, J.R. van Veldhuizen

summary  According to current Dutch legislation persons with a mental disorder can be forcibly treated in order to prevent them from seriously endangering themselves or society (the BOPZ law) or from seriously damaging their own health (the WGBO law). The two laws do not link in with each other in a satisfactory way. In this fictitious study we report on the case of a psychotic patient deemed to be mentally incompetent who received compulsory treatment after permission had been granted by her legal representative (under the WGBO law). We discuss possible ways in which the WGBO law can be applied during a period when a patient has been forcibly hospitalised under the BOPZ law. The legislation involved here is seen by some as being unworkable while we see it as an unfair 'shortcut'. We argue that either the two laws need to be linked in a more appropriate manner or new legislation needs to be enacted.

keywords BOPZ law, compulsory treatment, mental incompetence, WGBO law