Chapter

Mechanical Restraints: Loosening the Bonds

in Refusing Care

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780226733975
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226733999 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226733999.003.0007
Mechanical Restraints: Loosening the Bonds

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The mechanically restrained patient suffers perhaps the most severe assault on his dignity allowed in a civilized society—and perhaps one should not allow it for that very reason. Mechanical restraints also subject patients to the risk of physical harm. Being unable to move is deeply uncomfortable—more, painful. The risk of death is the most serious physical risk—and one that raises doubts about the use of mechanical restraints to protect patients from self-harm. Mechanically restraining patients is a very costly procedure in terms of their liberty, dignity, physical, and psychological interests. Mechanical restraints are not generally necessary to avert harm; patients can be made to feel safe from harm by other methods than one so degrading and brutal. Mechanical restraints are not justified for purposes of preserving the milieu or behavior modification.

Keywords: mechanical restraints; death; civilized society; physical risk; procedure

Chapter.  10917 words. 

Subjects: Medical and Healthcare Law

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