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Shanghai man uses new health law to win release from psychiatric hospital

By China Daily | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-14 09:51

"I never prevented him from leaving," the brother said. "I have a job and I don't have time to take care of him. Whether he can leave the hospital or not needs to be determined by the forensic authorities, not me."

Xu's lawyer, Yang Weihua, told China Daily that many people like Xu were filing lawsuits with mental health hospitals and their guardians, and they needed help.

In Xu's case, he was first sent to a regional hospital by his father and eldest brother for mental problems in 2001, when he persisted in appealing against the Australian immigration authority after he was repatriated to China for gambling and other misconduct.

In 2003, after a physical conflict with his father, Xu was sent to the privately-run Youth Psychiatric Rehabilitation Hospital and was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

In 2008, Xu's father died and his eldest brother was appointed his legal guardian. But Xu claimed his brother, unwilling to have Xu stay at the house left by their father, rejected his plea to leave the hospital, though he had obviously recovered.

The hospital also declined to discharge him without the consent of his brother.

Starting in 2012, Xu contacted lawyers and resorted to courts for help. He saw some hope after the mental health law was implemented.

However, he still lost two lawsuits against the hospital and his brother. Two previous forensic appraisals showed that he still had residual symptoms of schizophrenia, but it was not categorized as a "serious mental health problem".

The latest lawsuit, with the help of his lawyer, was launched in June. Yang said the court will announce its decision later this month.

He Qi in Shanghai contributed to this story.

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