The psychiatric law

The new psychiatric law was put into force from October 1st 2009. The purpose with the new psychiatric law is to improve legal status of the patients in connection with the loss of liberty, compulsory treatment and other compulsory use at the psychiatric ward.

The law will furthermore make sure that the patients, as much as they can, have a say in their treatment and other relations.

Compared to the law from 1938 on people with mental illnesses living in the hospital, this new law focuses on making the conditions concerning hospitalization, living conditions and treatment at the psychiatric ward more thouroghly described and stricter.

The psychiatric law is a collective writing of these laws:

  • Law no. 331 of 24/05/1989: ’Law on the loss of liberty and other force in the psychiatry’.
  • Law no. 389 of 14/06/1995:’ Law on the change of the law on the loss of liberty and other force in the psychiatry’.
  • Law no. 403 of 16/06/1998.: ’Law on the change of the law on the loss of liberty and other force in the psychiatry, procedural code and penal code’.
  • Lov nr. 1371 of 20/12/2004. ’ Law on the change of the law on the loss of liberty and other force in the psychiatry’.
  • Lov nr. 534 of 08/06/2006. ’ Law on the change of the law on the loss of liberty and othe force in the psychiatry and procedural code’.

In addition to this, other adjustments are made to Faroese conditions.

Comprehensive changes made concerning the use of force

The recommendation on the national law is built on the view that force in connection with hospitalization, living conditions and treatment at the psychiatric ward should be prevented as much as it can be, when keeping in mind the state of life, health and well being of the patient or others. 

However, the use of force is a reality in the psychiatric area. Therefore, the recommendation on the national law has specific provisions concerning the use of force of different kind. The main rule is that the least action is rule-governed and concerns the whole aspect on the use of force, so that the use of force is not used unless it is highly necessary due to a specific purpose.

The law also includes a row of appointments on conditions and procedures in connection with the use of force in the psychiatric ward.