Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Recently, the 1850 commitment law in Belgium has undergone dramatic revisions. These changes were implemented mainly at the request of law reformers who were concerned about the implications for civil liberties of institutionalization and who took into account the modern psychiatric treatment successes. Despite the fact that this legislation has promoted better progress in comparison with the original one, it has only been approved by the legal profession. The medical profession on the contrary is very critical and considers that this new measure gives few possibilities for the management of the doctor-patient relationship. The aim of the authors is to discuss, from a medical viewpoint, the advantages and disadvantages of the new law and to deliver some practical and ethical considerations.