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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

versão impressa ISSN 0034-7450


ARDILA GOMEZ, Sara. Mental Health in the Light of the Colombian Constitution: Analysis of some of the Sentences of the Constitutional Court, 1992-2009. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2010, vol.39, n.3, pp.493-509. ISSN 0034-7450.

Introduction: In Colombia there is a wide set of norms relating to the situation and rights of persons with mental disorders. It includes both the domestic legislation and the adherence to the main international agreements regarding this matter. One of the juridical innovative mechanisms of the Constitution of 1991 was the tutela action, which made it possible for citizens to demand the protection of their own fundamental rights. Method: This paper describes the review of 35 judgments of the Constitutional Court referred to the tutela actions related to mental health. These judgments are from the period 1992-2009. The aims of this paper are: To examine the situation in Colombia regarding the rights of persons with mental disorders and to understand judicial reasoning in this area, as a means of obtaining tools for the daily work in mental health. Results: Most of the tutela actions related to mental health are demanded by people with mental disorders or by their relatives. They also show that the issues most frequently demanded are health institutions and the rights requested are restitution of life, dignity, and health. Conclusion: The knowledge and analysis of the judgments of the Court help to open more possibilities of action to mental health professionals, who can use that judicial experience in understanding and handling their own cases.

Palavras-chave : Laws; mental health; patient rights.

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