Workstream II — Ethical challenges in forensic psychiatry
Forensic psychiatric hospitals provide care for people with mental disorders who have committed a criminal offense but have been found to have either no or diminished responsibility for the offense on account of their mental disorder.
Forensic hospitals have the dual task of providing care to patients and offering protection to society. Because of this, the conflict between the autonomy of the person committed and the security of society tends to be more pronounced in forensic settings.
The law regulating forensic care in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and other federal states permits compulsory treatment in forensic psychiatric hospitals under certain legal conditions.
We want to find out to what extent aspects of patient self-determination, well-being and safety play a role in the decision of psychiatric professionals and how the different values are weighed against each other in ethical decision-making.