Mental Health - CC via Raw Pixel
CAIRO - 27 July 2023: Egypt's Mental Health Act specifies guarantees to protect the mentally-ill patients if he is subjected to insult or ill-treatment.
In this regard, Article 46 stipulates that a punishment of imprisonment for a period not exceeding 6 months and a fine not exceeding 3000 pounds, or with one of these two penalties will be imposed on:
1. Whoever deliberately enables a person subject to entry or compulsory treatment procedures to escape, assists him to do so, or conceals him by himself or through a third party.
2. Anyone who prevents the inspection authorized by the National Council for Mental Health or the Regional Council for Mental Health, or whoever is delegated to do so, in accordance with the provisions of this law.
3. Anyone who refuses to give information needed by the National Council for Mental Health or the Regional Council for Mental Health or its inspectors in the performance of their mission or gives information that is contrary to the truth while knowing that.
4. Whoever falsely informs one of the competent authorities with malicious intent against a person who suffers from a mental illness as stipulated in the provisions of this law.
For Article 47, it stipulates that “Whoever is assigned to guard, nurse, or treat a person with a mental illness and abuses or neglects him in a way that causes him pain or harm, shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and a fine not exceeding 5,000 pounds, or with one of these two penalties.”
If the ill-treatment results in illness, injury or disability in the patient's body, the penalty shall be imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years.
The Psychiatric Patient Care Law defines procedures and guarantees for the protection and care of the patient.
The law also defines the rights of the mental patient, and stipulates that the mental patient shall enjoy the following rights, like:
- Protecting his privacy, personal belongings, and place of residence in the facility.
- Obtaining a full medical report on his psychological condition and on all the examinations and treatment procedures that took place during his treatment in the hospital. The patient may complain about this procedure in accordance with the provisions of this law and its implementing regulations.
- Complaining about any procedure in accordance with the rules and procedures specified by the executive regulations of this law.
- Interviewing visitors or refusing to meet them unless the interview conflicts with the treatment plan.
- Enabling him to meet his lawyer.
- Obtaining medical leave according to the treatment plan set for him.
- A request to leave the facility without the accompaniment of one of his relatives when the period of his compulsory entry ends after obtaining a plan for his psychological care after leaving, taking into account his social care.
- Protection from economic and sexual exploitation and from physical and psychological abuse and degrading treatment.
- Obtaining internal and external communication services, in accordance with the prescribed treatment plan in cases of voluntary treatment: