The Rights of the Mentally Ill and the Nigerian Society: Enhancing Dignity in Mental Health through Legislation

Abdulwasiu Ojo Akorede YUSUFF


This paper examined the negative societal attitude and misconceptions about mental illness especially in Nigeria. It argued that the existing legal presumptions and templates concerning mental illness and the mentally ill reinforce the grossly abusive societal attitude. The paper surmised that the rights and entitlements of the mentally ill to the recognition and protection of their dignity, among other rights, are covered by well-known national and international legal and policy frameworks. Although the relevant laws are noted to be dysfunctional and the few positive ones have largely been disregarded, the paper nevertheless concluded that necessary turn around must be built on reform in substantive law and their application consistent with international best practices.

Keywords: Rights, Mental Illness, Patient, Dignity, Law, Nigeria.


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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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