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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 50 (2008) 13, 55 - 60

Short report

Civil commitment of mentally ill patients: developments in Flanders

H. Nys, J. Vandenberghe

The Belgian law of 1990 concerning the protection of the mentally ill was the principal achievement of the last 25 years in the field of civil commitment of mentally ill patients in Flanders. Since that time there have been very few alterations in the criteria determining civil commitment. Very little legislation has been passed on this subject. The pragmatic and casuistic way in which the law is applied hinders any discussion of the principles on which these criteria are based. In spite of the large increase in the number of civil commitments, so far the law has remained unchanged.

keywords civil commitment, coercion, law to protect mentally ill persons, rights of patients