Collaborative Research Trials: A Strategy for Fostering Mental Health Protections in Developing Nations
International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 171-182, 2008
11 Pages Posted: 21 May 2009
Increasing academic and governmental attention is being directed towards improving legislative and human rights protections for the mentally ill and the mentally vulnerable in developing nations. Many states have made sincere attempts to discern such protections and enunciate them in legislation. A significant gap continues to exist here, however, between aspiration and implementation.
One strategy for improving implementation in this area, which has been little examined to date, involves the opportunities created by large-scale, collaborative research projects in developing nations. Such projects offer the potential for enhanced resources, attention and skills capable of promoting a domestic institutional culture of respect for legislative and human rights mental health protections.
This paper, as a case study, discusses the possibilities for enhancing mental health protections offered by a multi-national toxicology research project in rural Sri Lanka. The project is a Welcome Trust- funded research trial investigating treatment options for cases of self-poisoning involving organo-phosphate insecticides. It is known as the South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration (SACTRCQ).
Keywords: mental health, international human rights, human rights, research ethics, developing nations
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