A problematic social question continues to disturb humanity, on whether it is possible to separate a mentally ill person from their responsibilities. Some people have argued that mentally ill people are disabled and thus are unable to make sound decisions based on the limitation of the brain (Dyer, 1987). However, a counter-argument has suggested that a crime is not justifiable regardless of the mental status of an individual and that every person should bear their cross. However, I believe that the people and the society should treat each case of psychological health differently, instead of deciding if they or should not be held responsible for their action the type and the depth of the illness must be determined first.
The reason why it is vital to determine each case differently is that there are various types of mental illnesses, some include simple diseases where an individual can be able to make conscious decisions and thus can be held accountable. However, some patients suffer from severe mental conditions that they cannot be able to make sound choices on themselves, holding such people responsible for their actions would be subjecting them to further torture and would yield no fruit.
Looking at the religion to determine how the God looks at the mentally ill, we can conclude that it's the responsibility of the sober minds to guide the sick and keep them in a Godly path. Such people are helpless and in need of spiritual, emotional and physical guidance until their condition improves. In the book of Mathew 4:24, Jesus healed the mentally ill people brought to him without condemnation or accrediting them any responsibility (American Bible Society, 1986). Therefore, I believe in the eyes of God, these people are helpless and its God's intention to see how responsibly we can take care of them. And as Jesus said in Mathew 25: 31- 46, those who take care of such people have a reward in heaven.
In conclusion, the mentally challenged people should be helped to overcome their problems. In cases where the people committed the sin or acted in a manner that breaks the law, it is up to the jury and God to decide if they shall stand trial. However, based on the level of the illness, some of these people are free of being responsible for their actions, and it is upon the sober minds to take care of them. While in other cases like that of Soul and Nebuchadnezzar, they can be accountable for their actions depending on how severe their mind is affected (Daniel 4:30-37; 1 Samuel 7:1-31:13). But that should not be the role of people or the society to decide. Instead, God will hold each person accountable in fairness and justice, and so is the justice system.
American Bible Society. (1986). The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments ; translated out of the original tongues and with the former translations diligently compared and revised. New York: Author.
Dyer, C. (1987). Consent to treatment and criminal responsibility in the mentally ill. BMJ, 295(6610), 1402-1403. doi:10.1136/bmj.295.6610.1402
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