Involuntary Commitment: Laws and Regulations

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  • Topic: Outpatient commitment, Psychiatry, Involuntary commitment
  • Pages : 2 (460 words )
  • Download(s) : 71
  • Published : April 24, 2011
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Dear Mrs. Congressman:
I need your help. There is a major concern that is troubling our families in our society. Involuntary Treatment and Commitment. The laws of our nation were created to protect its citizens. Some regulations govern our everyday living, such as motor vehicle laws, one being wearing your seatbelt. Some may argue that they should have the freedom to choose whether they wear their seatbelt or not, even though wearing your seatbelt has been proven to help save lives. We Americans cherish our independence, but there are times when, for the good of the community, laws restricting our freedom must be made. As an observer of the mental health dilemma, I have reached the difficult conclusion that the freedom of those who choose not to take medications to control their symptoms of mental illness should be restricted. The community feels responsible for caring for those who cannot care for themselves. Members of families have a right to a stable home environment with no one member being an unnecessary, unending source of stress and grief. In most mental health systems there are people with severe mental illness who are prone to relapse, have repeated hospitalizations and criminal justice contacts, and disproportionately use the most costly services (Rand, 2000). Many also have alcohol or drug abuse problems. Such individuals often fail to take their prescribed medications, worsening their condition. Such behavior causes disasters behavior in our community. Over the years many states has amended or interpreted their existing civil commitment statues to allow for involuntary outpatient treatment. We don’t want this to happen to us. Studies has shown involuntary outpatient commitment when combined with intense mental health service, can be effective in the reducing the risk of negative outcome (Ridgley, Borum, Petrila, 2003). We know the issue of involuntary commitment and its place in the mental health community has become increasingly controversial. As...
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