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8 - The Potential of the Legal Capacity Law Reform in Peru to Transform Mental Health Provision

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 August 2021

Michael Ashley Stein
Affiliation:
Harvard Law School
Faraaz Mahomed
Affiliation:
Wits University
Vikram Patel
Affiliation:
Harvard Medical School
Charlene Sunkel
Affiliation:
Global Mental Health Peer Network
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Summary

In 2018, Peru achieved a milestone reform in the recognition of the right to legal capacity of persons with disabilities. As a result, the Peruvian legal system abolished disability-related guardianship and restrictions to the legal capacity of persons with disabilities, and introduced different regimes for supported decision-making. Following this reform, Peru adopted in 2019 a new Mental Health Act aimed to strengthen the mental health care reform in progress and to ensure a rights-based approach in mental health provision. Against this background, this chapter explores the impact of Peruvian legal capacity law reform on the new regulatory and policy framework concerning mental health and its potential to end all forms of coercion. In particular, the chapter identifies the legal capacity reform as a key precursor to the rights-based approach to disability in mental health provision and highlights the role of the disability rights movement and civil society in driving forward these unprecedented advances.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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