Information Note on the Court’s case-law 187
Bataliny v. Russia - 10060/07
Judgment 23.7.2015 [Section I] See:  ECHR 738
Involuntary psychiatric treatment including scientific research: violation
Facts - The first applicant was diagnosed with neurocirculatory dystonia and suffered from tachycardia and severe headaches. On 25 May 2005 he attempted suicide and was taken to a psychiatric hospital. His parents, the second and third applicants, were not allowed to take him home. The first applicant alleged that he had been beaten one night by nurses and patients. He further claimed that he was included in scientific research by entailing treatment with a new antipsychotic medication and was not allowed to have any contact with the outside world. He was discharged from hospital on 9 June 2005. Criminal proceedings regarding the alleged beatings were opened in November 2006 and suspended on four occasions. The proceedings were still pending when the European Court delivered its judgment. Since March 2007 the investigation concerning the first applicant’s involuntary placement in the psychiatric hospital was discontinued and resumed on several occasions before the applicants were informed in 2012 that the proceedings had become time-barred. In April 2008 a forensic psychiatric examination concluded that the first applicant’s involuntary hospitalisation had been justified but not his subsequent stay.
Law - Article 3 (substantive aspect): The applicant complained that his forced psychiatric treatment in the absence of an established medical need and in the framework of scientific research amounted to treatment prohibited by Article 3. According to the forensic medical examination of the first applicant in 2008, while his initial involuntary hospitalisation had been justified in view of his attempted suicide, his mental state in the following period did not fall under the definition of a “severe” mental disorder or any other acute mental condition and did not require involuntary psychiatric treatment. Since no evidence proving otherwise was produced by the Government, the Court considered that the medical necessity for the first applicant’s involuntary psychiatric treatment had not been convincingly shown. Furthermore, the first applicant had been included in involuntary scientific research of a new drug and was denied all contact with the outside. All of the foregoing must have aroused in him feelings of fear, anguish, and inferiority capable of humiliating and debasing him.
Conclusion: violation (unanimously).
The Court also found a violation of Article 5 § 1 on account of the first applicant’s involuntary confinement in the psychiatric hospital, Article 5 § 4 on account of his inability to challenge the lawfulness of his continued detention and of Article 3 (under both the substantive and procedural aspects) for his alleged ill-treatment in the psychiatric hospital and the failure to conduct an effective investigation into those allegations.
Article 41: EUR 26,000 to the first applicant in respect of non-pecuniary damage; claim in respect of pecuniary damage dismissed.
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This summary by the Registry does not bind the Court.
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