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FOSTREN Country blog – Finland

Country blog Finland by Tella Lantta

What is your country’s stand on coercion reduction?

Like in many other countries, efforts have been made in Finland for years to reduce coercion in care. There have been some successful attempts1,2, but creating a sustainable change in a whole country is a challenge.

In Finland, formal coercion is defined based on the Finnish Mental Health Act (FINLEX 1116/1990).3 Limitations on patients’ fundamental rights are possible through compulsory admission and during involuntary hospital treatment and examination. During involuntary care, psychosurgical or other treatments that seriously affect the patient’s integrity (e.g. electroconvulsive therapy) may only be given with the written consent of an adult patient, unless it is question of a measure that is necessary to avert a danger to the patient’s life.