490.2 The place of the other: The difficult dialogue between exclusion and inclusion of individuals with mental disorders

Friday, August 3, 2012: 11:03 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Juliana Livia ANTUNES DA ROCHA , Law and social science, Universidade Federal Fluminense - Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This article aims to discuss a thorniest subject: the human rights of a person with mental illness. This is challenging for two main reasons. First is the difficulty to deal with a matter that moves through such vast areas that would be sufficient alone to work the issue such as psychiatry, psychology, social science and Law.  The second one is the shortage material concerning the legal aspects of the problem which seems to demonstrate the marginality of the subject for legal theorists.

A person with a mental illness isn´t considerate as a citizen as a person without it in the sense that he isn’t an agent of his own existence, because the condition of being mentally ill is associated with the idea of submission to others, sometimes entirely, who may be the family, the state or the health professional who decides why, when, where and how is going to be the treatment and which social role this individual can have.

Very little progress has been made in terms of ensuring human rights for people with mental disorders. The usual “treatment” for a person with this condition is the isolation usually in conjunction with psychiatric care associated or not with drugs, often in precarious institutions, submitting the patient to a degrading situation, sometimes a fatal one, such as the famous case of Damião Ximenes in Brazil.

In a context of a democratic society who has to deal with the pluralism is essential to rethink the question of the rights for mental illness people, which must be increasingly committed to the idea of autonomy of the person and less with the idea of submission, recognizing their right to be different, but equal.