Despite efforts to integrate and harmonise legislation across the member states of the European Union (EU), mental health legislation, including legislation for the detention and treatment of offenders with mental disorders, differs widely across Europe. With changes to the Mental Health Act 1983 in the UK currently underway, investigating the different approaches to compulsory psychiatric care in other countries can be a stimulating and worthwhile exercise. We explored the Finnish mental health law with regard to compulsory admission and treatment and forensic care. Relevant differences between the Finnish approach and legislation in other European countries will be discussed.
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