Individual Rights, Coercion, and Empowerment

Donald M. Linhorst

in Empowering People with Severe Mental Illness

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780195171877
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865338 | DOI:
 Individual Rights, Coercion, and Empowerment

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This chapter provides an overview of the major case law and statutes that seek to protect the rights of people with severe mental illness and to promote their community integration. Discussion of rights include changes to involuntary civil commitment, right to least restrictive environment, rights of hospitalized persons, right to treatment, informed consent, the right to refuse treatment, and right to community integration. The chapter also defines coercion and discusses types of legal and informal coercion that exist today with people with mental illness. Types of formal coercion include involuntary civil commitment, guardianship, probation and parole, criminal justice diversion programs and mental health courts, and conditional release of insanity acquittees. The chapter presents views on coercion held by people with mental illness, their family members, mental health professionals, and the general public. Finally, it discusses the complex relationships between individual rights, coercion, and empowerment.

Keywords: case law; statutes; rights; community integration; civil commitment; least restrictive environment; right to treatment; informed consent; right to refuse treatment; coercion

Chapter.  10921 words. 

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