Læknablaðið : fylgirit - 01.09.1977, Blaðsíða 30

Læknablaðið : fylgirit - 01.09.1977, Blaðsíða 30
24 2. Every patient must be offered the best therapy available and be treated with the solicitude and respect due to the dignity of all human beings and to their autonomy over their own lives and health. The psychiatrist is responsible for treatment given by the staff members and owes them qualified supervision and education. Whenever there is a need, or whenever a reasonable request is forthcoming from the patient, the psychiatrist should seek the help or the opinion of a more experienceJ colleague. 3. A therapeutic relationship between patient and psychiatrist is founded on mutual agreement. It requires trust, confidentia- lity, openness, co-operation and mutual responsibility. Such a relationship may not be possible to establish with some severly ill patients. In that case, as in the treatment of children, contact should be established with a person close to the patient and acceptable for him or her. If and when a relationship is established for purposes other than therapeutic, such as in forensic psychiatry, its nature must be thoroughly explained to the person concerned. 4. The psychiatrist should inform the patient of the nature of the condition, of the proposed diagnostic and therapeutic proce- dures, including possible alternatives, and of the prognosis. The information must be offered in a considerate way and the patient be given the opportunity to choose between appropriate and available methods. 5. No procedure must be performed or treatment given against or independent of the patient's own will, unless the patient lacks capacity to express his or her own wishes or, owing to psychia- tric illness, cannot see what is in his or her best interest or, for the same reason, is a severe threat to others. In these cases compulsory treatment may or should be given, provided that it is done in the patient's best interests and over a reasonable period of time, a retroactive informed consent can be presumed and, whenever possible, consent has been obtained from someone close to the patient. 6. As soon as the above conditions for compulsory treatment no longer apply, the patient must be released, unless he or she vol- untarily consents to further treatment. Wherever there is compulsory treatment or detention there must be an independent and neutral body of appeal for regular inquiry into these cases. Every patient must be informed of its exist- ance and be permitted to appeal to it, personally or through a representative, without interference by the hospital staff or by anyone else. 7. The psychiatrist must never use the possibilities of the pro-

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