A SELECTION OF CONSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS THAT IMPACT ON THE MENTALLY DISORDERED PATIENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
Keywords:mentally disordered patient, protection, fundamental human rights
This article examines a selection of constitutional aspects that impact on the mentally disordered patient in South Africa. There are specific fundamental human rights protected in the Bill of Rights that are applicable to the psychiatric and psychology professions and the mentally disordered patient. The first is section 36 of the Constitution – the general limitation clause. Further rights include the right to dignified and humane treatment, freedom from discrimination in terms of access to all forms of treatment, the right to privacy and confidentiality, the right to protection from physical or psychological abuse and the right to adequate information about their clinical status. These rights should ideally include efforts to promote the greatest degree of self-determination and personal responsibility of patients. Since 1994 many farreaching improvements have been made to the South African health system. The legal and policy framework described in this article is still relatively new and is a major achievement. However, much remains to be done to implement policies and to ensure that the vision of the protection of the mentally disordered patient becomes a reality for people regardless of factors like mental disorder. Because this is an article of limited scope, focus is placed on a discussion of sections 10, 12(2)(b) and 14 of the Constitution.
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.