The Assurance and Restriction on Human Rights of the Mentally Ill

정신장애인의 인권보장과 제한에 관한 연구

  • Published : 2003.11.30


The main premise of this study is that the assurance on human rights of the mentally ill is contradictory to 'the greatest happiness of the greatest number' or 'therapeutic benefits'. Accordingly this study aims to find out the conceptual framework of assurance and restriction on human rights of the mentally ill. Using qualitative method, this study conducted the in-depth interview with 10 general public, 9 professionals, 6 mentally ill regarding the several issues of human rights included long-term hospitalization, restriction on driver's licence, involuntary hospitalization, restriction on communication in psychiatric ward. Research results are as follows ; two sets of dimensions are inferred from the analysis of interview transcript. First dimension is the focus of justification, ranging from the emphasis on positive consequences influenced to 'the greatest numbers'(the utilitarian thought) to the emphasis on assurance of rights without any conditions(the deontological thought). Second dimension is the locus of decision, raging from the formal system included the professionals and the government agency to the informal system included the families and the mentally ill. And there are differences in attitudes toward assurance and restriction on rights of the mentally ill among general public, professionals, and the mentally ill. In detail, general public regarded that 'involuntary hospitalization' and 'restriction on driver's license' which are apt to be directly harmful to people must be justified by consequence-centered and decided by the formal system, while 'long-term hospitalization' which is less harmful to people could be justified by right-centered and decided by the formal-system. And they thought that 'restriction of communication' could be justified by right-centered and decided by the informal system. Based on the findings, this study would conclude that practical guidelines for the promotion of human rights of the mentally ill must be developed.