Branch of psychiatry which deals with problems at the interface of law and psychiatry.
· Forensic Mental Health Nurses (FMHNs) play a key role in assessing, managing and treating mentally disordered offenders.
· Provision of treatment for the mentally abnormal offender and the preparation of psychiatric reports for the court on the mental state of offender suspected of having a mental abnormality (Faulk 1994).
Rights of mentally ill
· Right to wear own cloth
· Right to have individual storage space
· Right to keep and use individual possessions
· Right to spend some money for their own expenses
· Right to access to communication medias
· Right to see visitors
· Right to treatment in least restricted areas
· Right to hold civil service status
· Right to refuse ECT
· Right to manage and dispose property
· M’Naghten rule states that the individual at the time of crime didn’t know the nature and quality of the act and if he didn’t know what he was doing, he didn’t comprehend it to be wrong; he can’t be punished for the offense. He will be provided with the treatment on court order.
· This rule came after the case of Daniel M'Naghten in 1843 who tried to kill the Prime minister due to paranoid delusion associated with schizophrenia. He accidently killed Prime Ministers secretary and when case came to court a panel of advocates argued against the punishment as he committed the crime because of mental illness. So the convict was send to asylum for treatment.
· Right to property – A mentally ill person who is incapable of managing his property can be assisted by a case manager who will be appointed by the court.
· Marriage – According to Hindu Marriage Act 1955, a person who got married was of unsound mind at the time of marriage then marriage will be considered as null. Partner can apply for divorce if the illness continues more than 2 years. If divorce is filed after 3 years, the partner has to give maintenance charges for the mentally ill.
· Testamentary capacity – A mentally ill person can make a valid will if a doctor tests the person’s orientation, memory and concentration is normal and there are no delusions which may lead to disposal of property.
· Right to vote- A person with mental illness can’t contest or cast vote.