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date: 16 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines Confucian perspectives on psychiatric ethics by focusing on a family-based and family-oriented way of life. It first provides a background on Confucianism and Confucian familism, with emphasis on central concerns in the Confucian virtuous way of life including the integrity, continuity, and prosperity of the family. It then compares Confucian ethics with Western bioethics in terms of moral responsibility and individual autonomy in the context of family obligations and patient needs. It also discusses the Mental Health Act in China, which became effective in May 2013, and its restrictions on involuntary hospitalization within the context of Confucian ethics. The chapter considers two cases, one from mainland China and another from Australia, to illustrate Confucian psychiatric ethics at work in real life and highlight various issues that arise in contemporary clinical settings.

Keywords: psychiatric ethics, way of life, Confucianism, family, Confucian ethics, bioethics, moral responsibility, individual autonomy, China, involuntary hospitalization

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