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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 38 (1996) 10

New research

Seclusion not in seclusion. An ethical reflection on the seclusion of psychiatric patients

A. Liégeois

This paper is the result of the ethical reflection of the working group `Ethics in mental health care' of the Belgian Brothers of Charity. After a clarification of the terms, seclusion is approached from the treatment perspective and experience perspective of both the health care providers and the patients and their family. In the treatment perspective the responsibility for seclusion is a shared and collective one for the whole interdisciplinary team, although the team members have their own special responsibility. Seclusion is ethically speaking sensible if there is a proportional or reasonable balance between the underlying values during seclusion: freedom of movement, privacy, phys-ical and psychical integrity, and freedom of choice.