New UAE draft law protects rights of mental health patients Filed on February 16, 2021
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Law proposes ways they can be integrated in society.

New regulations that protect the rights of people suffering from mental disorders and how they can be integrated in society will soon be introduced in the UAE.

The Health and Environmental Affairs Committee of the Federal National Council (FNC) discussed amendments to the provisions of the draft law on Tuesday.

Naema Abdullah Al Sharhan, second deputy chairman of the council and chair of the committee, said mental health, according to the draft law, is a state of psychological and social stability.

Through it, an individual can achieve his/her goals according to personal capabilities, and deal with life pressures and work, produce and contribute to society.

She explained that it is not permissible to provide mental health services without obtaining a licence from the health authorities.

“According to the draft law, a mental health facility is obligated to place the patient’s rights document in visible places inside it. It has to hand over the psychiatric patient or his/her representative a copy of the document, and also deposit a copy in his medical file after it is signed by the patient."

The draft law aims to regulate the relationship between patients and the various parties dealing with them. This is to protect the rights and dignity of the mental health patient.

The law also highlights the importance of promoting the integration of the psychiatric patient in society.

The government had proposed a draft law to replace Federal Law No. 28 of 1981 when it comes to detaining and treating people with mental illnesses.

The articles of the draft law also include provisions related to the controls of mandatory external therapeutic care; indicating the incapacity of compulsory external therapeutic care; requesting treatment diversion and provisions related to the patient’s consent to compulsory admission; consent of the patient to voluntary admission; and emergency treatment.

The draft law will be presented to the FNC for further discussion by all members before it is approved.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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