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Civil Commitment

  • Seymour L. Halleck
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)

Abstract

It is difficult to discuss the issue of the involuntary commitment and treatment of severely disturbed patients dispassionately. Some argue that it is immoral to deprive almost any noncriminal person of freedom. Others believe it is immoral to fail to treat sick people even when they say they do not want treatment. Conflicts between the values of freedom and the values of health and compassion are powerful, and most commentators in this area take relatively unyielding positions on one or the other side of this dispute. Papers and books published in this area tend to resemble polemics or legal briefs more than scientific treatises. It is common for writers to cite only studies that support their argument and to ignore all others. Even more or less official documents such as the “Model Code” for civil commitment prepared by the American Bar Association Commission on the Mentally Disabled and the American Civil Liberties Union handbook The Rights of Mental Patients take an open adversarial stance in supporting freedom values over health values.1

Keywords

Mental Illness Severe Mental Illness Civil Liberty Mental Hospital Mental Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seymour L. Halleck
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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