Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 175-180

Forensic psychiatry in India: Past, present, and future

Professor, Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
S Nambi
Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital, Chennai-44
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.196827

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Forensic psychiatry is a subspecialty of psychiatry, in which scientific and clinical expertise is applied to legal issues in legal contexts embracing civil, criminal, correctional, or legislative matters. Forensic psychiatry is still in an infant stage in India and other developing countries. Law is the sanctioning discipline, and Psychiatry is the therapeutic discipline. Due to various reasons, Forensic Psychiatry is reared as Cinderella in our country; "which is much neglected, ignored, misinterpreted, and misunderstood. Legislation forms an integral component in the implementation of Mental Health Care; there is a dynamic relationship between the concept of mental illness, treatment of the mentally ill, and the law. Mental Health legislation is essential in protecting the rights and dignity of persons with Mental Disorders and for implementing effectively the mental health services. "Effective mental health legislation can provide a legal frame work to integrate mental health services in the community as to overcome stigma, discrimination, and exclusion of mentally ill persons. Legislations can also create enforceable standards for high quality medical care and improve access to care and protect civil, political, social, and economic rights of the mentally ill individual, including right to access to education, employment, housing, and social security."



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