Involuntary Commitment of Mentally Ill Patients
Discusses impact of legal rulings since 1960s, civil rights of mentally ill, key issues, political strategies.
“Health professionals treating mentally ill patients frequently seek to commit their patients to psychiatric hospitals. When the patient will not consent to commitment, the doctor might consider involuntary commitment, often at the insistence of the patient’s family. In recent decades, however, the United States Supreme Court has greatly limited the circumstances where an individual can be committed to a mental hospital against their will. Despite those rulings, the civil rights of the mentally ill remain under attack. The public often perceives those who suffer from mental illness as a danger to society and want them kept separate from the community at large (Wahl, 1995, p. 1). This paper will detail the current policy governing involuntary commitment, the history and effect of that policy, the key issues…”