Matthew E. Reynolds

in The Oxford Handbook of Psychiatric Ethics

Published in print July 2015 | ISBN: 9780198732365
Published online October 2014 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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5150: On Unethical Privacy is an autobiographical piece where Matthew Reynolds recounts the situation wherein he was involuntarily committed shortly before his 21st birthday. He describes the situation that led to his psychotic break, and the problems his parents had, who he is very close to and have had a large place in his treatment. He was incapable of informed consent and, after being tranquilized, due to his manic depression, he slept for 36 hours wherein neither his parents, physician, psychiatrist, or anybody else were contacted. Finally, his main moral dilemma is discussed. He highlights just what went wrong ethically based on his own memory of events, which he learned of during and after his involuntary committal. His main argument is: “what use is a psychotic patient’s undeniable rights to privacy, if he is incapable of helping himself?” He notes how these systems backfired throughout.

Keywords: 5150; manic depression; privacy; incapacity; informed consent; ethics

Article.  1292 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology ; Counselling Psychology

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