China Discusses First-Ever Mental Health Law

The Detroit Free Press /USA Today (12/29, MacLeod) reports, “The Communist Party does not acknowledge its mental facilities are used to silence critics, but according to numerous human rights groups and Chinese dissidents, China’s Communist-led government has for decades incarcerated healthy people in mental wards to suppress dissent.” Notably, “the rise in confinements is greatest among petitioners — the ordinary people who complain about local problems.”

Now, however, “some Chinese officials are pushing back against the political confinements. Prodded by academics, activists and former patients, China’s National People’s Congress is discussing what would be the country’s first ever mental health law.” According to psychiatry professor Wang Yue, of Peking University, “the draft legislation represents both a legal and social milestone for the world’s most populous country,” despite its shortcomings.

Posted in In The News.