Seclusion: The Path of Least Resistance?

in Refusing Care

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780226733975
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226733999 | DOI:
Seclusion: The Path of Least Resistance?

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This chapter aims to sort through the reactions to seclusion and restraints and to suggest, in light of these reactions, a system of legal rules governing their use. It inquires into restraint practices in the case of the non-mentally ill and evaluates the justifications mental health professionals invoke for using them. Mentally ill people should be treated no differently from ordinary citizens with regard to such emergency measures as seclusion and restraints. It points out that ordinary practices allow emergency restraint and that prisoners and the vulnerable physically ill are sometimes treated with more extreme mechanical restraints. The mentally ill should be treated better than prisoners and no worse than ordinary citizens and that no characteristics of the mentally ill justify severe mechanical restraints as they sometimes do with the physically ill. Furthermore, this chapter suggests changes in current practices to bring them into accord with the treatment of non-ill citizens.

Keywords: seclusion; restraints; mentally ill; emergency; ordinary citizens

Chapter.  10512 words. 

Subjects: Medical and Healthcare Law

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