If the opinion of the patient’s next of kin or legal representative cannot be established, the patient must be treated in a manner that can be considered to be in their best interest. This is also done when the people providing consent have differences of opinion.

The patient’s next of kin or legal representative has no right to forbid a treatment that is required in order to avoid a risk to the patient’s life or health.

If the patient has provided an earlier statement regarding their desired treatment and this can be reliably verified, it must be followed.

Committing a patient to psychiatric care

A person of legal age can be committed to involuntary psychiatric care if they are determined to be mentally ill and if failure to commit them into an institution would substantially worsen their mental illness or present a severe risk to their health or safety. A person can also be committed to involuntary treatment if they can be considered a severe risk to the health or safety of others.

Involuntary care is always provided in a hospital.

An underage patient can be committed to psychiatric care if they require treatment for a severe mental disorder and if other mental health services are not suitable. Severe mental disorders include, for example, severe behavioural disorders, suicidal behaviour or eating disorders.