Responsabilità professionale derivante dall'uso della contenzione in psichiatria


  • Raffaella Rinaldi
  • Et Alii



This article aims to lay out an assessment of whether and when restraint use may be warranted in psy-chiatry. The authors lay out various types of restraints and the risks posed by such means for the patient’s psychophysical well-being, wondering whether such practices really constitute forms of health care treatment. A negative response to that question would entail that restraint is never compulsory and can only be performed under the state of necessity. An affirmative answer, on the other hand, would mean that extraordinary conditions could make restraint mandatory. As a consequence of that, doctors may be held legally liable whether they fail to use restraint when necessary to keep patients from en-gaging in self-harm or harm against others. Since restraint per se entails heavy limitations to personal freedom (art. 13 Cost.) and serious risks for health (art. 32 Cost.) it can only be considered compulsory if the standards of an absolute state of necessity are met (under article 54 of Italian criminal statutes). Such parameters should be set on a national, rather than local, level.