Global Mental Health and Neuroethics - Chapter 16: Ethical issues in global mental health

Elsevier, Global Mental Health and Neuroethics, Volume , 16 January 2020
Andrea C. Palk and Dan J. Stein

A consideration of the intersection between global mental health and neuroethics raises broader questions about the ethics of global mental health research and practice. In this concluding chapter we provide an overview of key ethical issues in global mental health. Our discussion is organized in terms of ethical challenges associated with global collaboration in mental health, global mental health research, and global mental health care. In particular, we engage with cross-cutting concerns associated with navigating the complex interplay between the nature of mental disorders and the social, political and economic circumstances in particular contexts, as well as with the deeper tensions elicited by the fact that moral and ethical norms differ across the globe in their stability and applicability. In the second part of this chapter we support calls for a more appropriate bioethics paradigm for mental health on a global scale, justified by the principles of equity, inclusivity and rectification that have been central to the development of global health. In particular, we argue that the inherently relational principle of solidarity is an appropriate guiding principle for global endeavors, and global mental health in particular.