GENERAL PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS

 189019.11.2006

Psychiatric hospitals of a general type (GPH)  was the term in Soviet jurisprudence which indicated that a person charged with committing a crime had been found mentally unfit to stand trial and was sent by a court for forced treatment not in a special psychiatric hospital, but in a GPH, an establishment within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health. Such a court ruling was considered a relatively mild form of “forced measures of a medical nature”, and was rarely handed down in the case of dissidents accused of “political crimes” and declared mentally unfit (cf. for example, Oleh SOFYANYK).

In dissident literature this term was sometimes used in a broader sense, indicating forced hospitalization not on the basis of a court ruling, but via the use of an instruction on urgent hospital treatment of individuals suffering from psychological disorders. Such general psychiatric hospitals were used as a means of extra-judicial repression (for example, Mykhailo YAKUBIVSKY).

 

Based on material from “Memorial”, Moscow

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