Psychiatry, Law and Ethics

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WPA Section on Psychiatry, Law and Ethics deals with legal and ethical issues related to the practice of psychiatry. There is a complex interplay between legal issues and ethical dilemmas in mental health care. This is a dynamic intersection, which is always evolving and transforming based on the predominant prevailing discourse.


The Section of Psychiatry, Law and Ethics draws on international conventions, past and present, as well as the moral philosophy and its application to psychiatry. While domestic legislation is different in different countries, Section of Psychiatry, Law and Ethics sets the tone for interpretation of contemporary legal and ethical issues. It is a platform for WPA members to discuss and debate controversies and challenges in this field. The list of members, activities of the section and publications by the section members will be regularly updated here.

Section Officers



Athanassios Douzenis

Athens University Medical School, 2nd Psychiatry Department,
Attikon University Hospital, 1 Rimini Street, 12462 Athens, Greece   
Phone: 30 2105832426
Fax: 30 2105326453


Kuruvilla Thomas - Co-chair - Psychiatry

Kuruvilla Thomas

Kusumagiri Hospital, Pushpamangalam, Kakkanad P.O,
Kochi-682030, India
Phone: +91 9846022631



Neeraj Gill

School of Medicine, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD 4222 

Building location (G40) Room 8.17
Phone: +61 7 5678 0113 


>> Please click here to see the Section Members list

Section Activities

Upcoming webinar

Our Section is pleased to be co-sponsoring an upcoming webinar with the Indian Psychiatric Society. The webinar will discuss "TREATMENT OF PERSONS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS IN INDIAN MENTAL HEALTH ESTABLISHMENTS: LAWS & ETHICS" and will take place on the 22nd of August 2021 at 7-8.45pm. For more information, please click here. For more information, please contact

Previous activity

As part of the Section's ongoing efforts to support legal and ethical issues related to the practice of psychiatry, Professor Neeraj S Gill has been invited to chair a symposium on “Law and ethics of compulsory psychiatric treatment with special focus on Indigenous populations" at this years’ World Congress of Psychiatry, 2021, Bangkok (Virtual Congress). You can read the symposium summary here.