involuntary commitment

Psychiatry Misusing the Political Process

March 30, 2014

On March 27, the US House of Representatives approved by a voice vote with no debate a Medicare bill, HR 4302, Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014.  The purpose of the bill is to avoid cutting Medicare payments to physicians, and there was, and is, general agreement on both side of the aisle that […]

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Involuntary Mental Health Commitments

March 20, 2014

The recent publicity surrounding the Justina Pelletier case has focused attention, not only on the spurious and arbitrary nature of psychiatric diagnoses, but also on the legitimacy and appropriateness of mental health commitments.  It is being widely asserted that these archaic statutes are fundamentally incompatible with current civil rights standards, and the question “should mental […]

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Going Against the Stream

June 7, 2013

AN INTERESTING STORY Yesterday I came across the following on Twitter from Mental Health @Sectioned_. “I just met someone who told me their remarkable story about falling down the rabbit hole into psychiatric sectioning and forced medication.  I listened with fascination to their intricate story in all its twists and turns, looping backwards and forwards […]

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More on Involuntary Commitment

March 1, 2013

In recent times a good deal of criticism has been directed towards the practice of involuntarily committing individuals to state and private mental hospitals.  Most of this criticism focuses on the lack of effective due process; conflicts of interest in the case of private facilities; and failure to adequately explore alternatives. In my view, all […]

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Involuntary Commitment – A Case Study

February 28, 2013

Years ago I was director of a county mental health center in an Eastern state.  Shortly after taking the position, I became concerned that clients were being involuntarily committed too readily and without exploration of other options.  I issued an instruction that all such activity had to be approved by a middle manager before it […]

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