Hospitalized mentally ill patients in Israel vote for the first time

Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 1997;34(1):69-72.


For the first time in Israel, hospitalized mentally ill patients were enabled to participate in the election of the prime minister and members of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) held on May 29, 1996. In a demonstration election held in Yehuda Abarbanel Hospital to teach and prepare the patients to vote, the outcome of the vote for the prime minister was identical to the results of the general public vote. The sample vote results for members of the Knesset were slightly different from those in the actual election. The character of the voting in this sample bolsters arguments for the rights of mentally ill individuals to participate in the basic democratic process of voting and should ease any misgivings felt by some of the public about their ability to vote as rationally as other members of the public.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Patient Admission / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Patient Advocacy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Politics*
  • Public Opinion