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Involuntary Detention - Essay Example

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Involuntary detention allows people in imminent danger of harming themselves or others to be admitted to a psychiatric facility against their will. Ultimately, individuals could be confined who are deemed threatening to the social or political order. The perceived need for involuntary detention arises out of a social contract, wherein the State and the profession of psychiatry join forces to protect the public from individuals who are seen as both terrifying and burdensome…
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Involuntary Detention
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Download file to see previous pages There is an increasing interest in an international code of ethics and set of standards for the use of State and professional power to care for individuals with mental illness (Belkin, 2004). In recent years there has been a marked increase in the proportion of individuals with mental disorders detained in hospital involuntarily, compared to those admitted on an informal basis.1
Over the centuries, acceptable use of psychiatric expertise to justify forced detention and hospitalization has been center stage to the efforts of either celebrating or proscribing the power of psychiatrists' asserted knowledge.2 The establishment of the asylum itself was part of a significant 19th-century shift from the use of religious authority in politics to the development of humanitarian objectives for government. 3 The union between mental health practices and expectations for the organisation of political and social life is progressively more articulated in the expanding authority and legality of human rights discussion and institutions.4
The care of people with psychiatric disorders is changing. ...
psychiatric hospital (Bartlett & Sandland, 2003).5 And, the law is also changing with a new Mental Health Bill published in 2002, which proposes to completely re-write the current system of mental health law. Proposals have been put forward to extend the legal controls over persons with severe personality disorders who are perceived as dangerous.6 Hopefully, new legislation will promise greater protection of the human rights of individuals with mental health disorders.
The fundamental dilemma in mental health is that of balancing the individual's autonomy and civil liberties with the desired need to protect both the individual and the public from perceived threat or risk.7
For individuals who work in mental health care and for those who live with a mental health illness, our work and our lives intersect with the legal system around a complex and delicate decision-making process (Curtis, 2001). In certain situations, people with a mental illness can be forcibly admitted to a psychiatric hospital or institution against their will (Goldbeck & Mackenzie, 1997).8 This process of involuntary commitment essentially allows any person that is in imminent danger of harming himself or someone else to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital against his will or over his protests.
The notions of voluntary and involuntary are not distinguished in black and white, but include many shades of grey. There is a continuum of voluntary to involuntary, which could be described as follows: active cooperation, passive cooperation, ambivalence, silent objection, irrational opposition, and rational refusal (Cahn, 2006; Gratzer & Matas, 1994; Hiday & Goodman, 1982; Kapp, 1994). A patient might move along this continuum in either direction during the course of his illness. Furthermore, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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