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The Practical and Legal Dangers of Involuntary Outpatient Commitment for Patients with Mental Illness - Research Paper Example

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The practical and Legal Dangers of Involuntary Outpatient Commitment for patients with Mental Illness Wanda Stewart January 19, 2012 Augusta Technical College Associate Degree Nursing Program Introduction In the past few years, most of the policy makers have begun to raise their views of the need to reconsider the involuntary outpatient commitment…
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The Practical and Legal Dangers of Involuntary Outpatient Commitment for Patients with Mental Illness
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Download file to see previous pages Such threats are practical and legal tough because they may be involuntary. In addition, outpatient commitment can hinder offering voluntary services and discourage people from using mental health care services. When people fear to acquire services from mental health care centers, stigma precedes. Therefore, it is necessary to develop legal ways of handling this issue other than the voluntary therapeutic models (Levkowitch, Weiser, Levy and Neumann, 2001). Objectives This paper aims at analyzing practical and legal dangers associated with involuntary outpatient commitment. This is important because of the dangers and stigma that are associated with individuals diagnosed with mental illness. Therefore, this paper will attempt to scrutinize this in details and identify the practical and legal actions to be done, so that these issues are dealt with completely. Literature review Outpatient commitment refers to employed strategy or mechanism of dealing with or compelling a mentally ill person. This aims at encouraging this people to comply with the psychotropic drugs and the ordered treatment as a strategy of living in the community. In this case it is always important for diagnosed individuals undergo frequent blood and urine test, attend self-help group meetings, as well as enter psychotherapy with specific therapist. At times, condition demands orders are prolonged to enable the target issue to be met. Individuals currently considered to be dangerous, do not qualify to be our patients but rather in-patient. This is important because such people can be dangerous to the community. As a result, it is essential to restrict them so that their handling can be easy. Most of the outpatient supporters claim that this strategy is gentler and kind compared to alternative of inpatient commitment. They claim that this will help to reduce threats that arise from involuntary hospitalization. In this case, the targeted individuals are those who have mental illness. However, outpatient commitment will require an individual with pain of entering police custody to undergo re-hospitalization, comply with decisions for treatment and prove no danger to the community. These are compatible with the law, and at the same time help enhance safety to the community at large. The first law relating with outpatient was enacted during the early 1980s. As a result, over 40 states now have this law in books. About 20 states out of 40 invoke the law most infrequently because of the reluctance of the service providers’ participation and lack of the community-based service (Sinaiko and McGuire, 2008). According to many scholars, the main issue of concern is whether the outpatient commitment will be able to achieve its objectives. Existing claims say that this may not increase public safety enormously. They state that in our society most of the violence results in issues different from mental illness. They claim that only few people are dangerous to others and to themselves due to mental illness. In addition, most of them have gone to an extent of committing criminal offences. According to the law, it is important to seek involuntary hospitalization in emergency cases of violence from mentally ill individuals. There exist only few evidences supporting the fact that outpatient commitment will make the public and diagnosed individuals safer. According to the requirements of majority of scholars, it is necessary to incorporate innovative ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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