In Ukraine, people have virtually no chance to challenge an involuntary placement to a mental hospital. The European Court of Human Rights made this conclusion after having studied Mr. Anatoliy Rudenko’s petition. Doctors of a mental hospital in Dniepropetrovsk declared the 52 year old entrepreneur mentally ill and sent him for involuntary treatment.
The most interesting thing is that the previous conclusion signed by the same doctors was just the opposite – ‘Anatoliy Rudenko does not require involuntary treatment.’
The doctors have not provided any explanation why their recommendations regarding the same person were so different within such short time period.
Ultimately, Mr. Rudenko spent nearly a year in a mental hospital, and was unable either to challenge his stay there, or undergo an independent examination.
Upon his release, Anatoliy Rudenko came to the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and the Union’s lawyers arranged an independent examination for him. Doctors came to an unanimous conclusion that the man did not need any involuntary treatment.
Experts of the human rights organization also assisted Mr. Rudenko in conducting his case at the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled that Ukraine had violated article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to liberty and security of person.
The European Court of Human Rights pointed out that Anatoliy Rudenko had been fully dependent on state authorities, which decided not to conduct an independent examination and deprived him of any chance to prove his sanity. The European Court of Human Rights also pointed out that the Ukrainian courts, which ruled on Mr. Rudenko’s involuntary treatment, had deprived him of an opportunity to participate in court sessions and defend himself. This happened because, the doctors who had sent him to a mental hospital, decided that he could not attend the hearings.
The European Court of Human Rights awarded the applicant a compensation of 18 thousand EUROs.