Ethics Policy: Deinstitutionalization
By: Clifton Dickerson
Sunday, December 05, 2010
Deinstitutionalization has started to become a very big dilemma in our society today. Because of high recidivism and quality of care in institutions, they have started to become an unnecessary part of our mental health services. This lack of productivity in mental institutions and our recent deinstitutionalization laws has caused a lot of mental health patients to be put back out on the streets when they should be receiving treatment. These are people that can barely take care of themselves, wear torn or inappropriate clothing, talk to themselves, shout at others, and generally act in bizarre ways. Though none of this directly affects anyone personally, it is a bad representation of our towns, state, and country. This deinstitutionalization movement soon resulted in what we call trans-institutionalization. Trans-institutionalization includes an influx of mental patients into our jails, prisons, or homeless shelters. It is our ethical responsibility to make sure everyone in our country at least has the same opportunities as everyone else. How it is that America can claim to be an equal opportunity country, but yet there is still so many of these people wandering our streets and in homeless shelters? This is proof that these people are not able to take care of themselves and is in need of help from someone, this is where our mental institutions should come in play. Unfortunately, a lot of mental patients dread these places either because they do not believe they need help or because they do not want to have their personal rights taken away from them. Mental institutions must be able to provide patients with adequate living conditions that will further enhance their rehabilitation process. There are already a lot of rights that get taken away from a person when they are in a place they do not wish to be. The deinstitutionalization movement tried to help solve this problem...
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