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NCJ Number: 63133 Find in a Library
Title: MENTAL ILLNESS AND THE LAW (FROM LAW AND SOCIAL CONTROL IN CANADA, 1978, BY WILLIAM K GREENAWAY AND STEPHEN L BRICKEY - SEE NCJ-63130)
Author(s): D MAZER
Corporate Author: Prentice-Hall Canada, Inc
Marketing Director
Canada
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Prentice-Hall Canada, Inc
Scarborouth, Ontario M1P 2J7, Canada
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: IN ATLANTIC CANADA, A LARGE NUMBER OF MENTAL HOSPITAL INMATES ARE FORCIBLY DETAINED AND INVOLUNTARILY COMMITTED TO INSTITUTIONS UNDER LAWS WHICH PUT AN INORDINATE AMOUNT OF POWER IN THE HANDS OF A FEW INDIVIDUALS.
Abstract: BEHIND THESE LAWS IS THE ASSUMPTION THAT PHYSICIANS HAVE THE ABILITY TO IDENTIFY ACCURATELY THOSE WHO SUFFER FROM MENTAL DISORDERS AND WHO REQUIRE HOSPITALIZATION TO PROTEST THE MENTALLY DEFICIENT PERSON THEMSELVES AND THE PUBLIC. THE MENTAL HEALTH STATES ARE THUS BASED ON THE ABILITY OF PROFESSIONALS TO DISTINGUISH THE MAD FROM THE SANE. CANADA'S LAWS HAVE A LIBERTARIAN TRADITION WHICH HOLDS THAT THE INDIVIDUAL IS ENTITLED TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW BEFORE HE CAN BE DEPRIVED OF HIS FREEDOM, YET THE MENTAL PATIENT IS VIRTUALLY STRIPPED OF ALL RIGHTS. SAFEGUARDS PROTECTING AN INMATE EXCEED THOSE PROTECTING THE MENTAL PATIENT. RECENTLY, HOWEVER, HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS HAVE BEGUN TO FOCUS ATTENTION ON THE NEED FOR LEGAL SAFEGUARDS FOR MENTAL PATIENTS. IN THE FOREFRONT OF THIS OPPOSITION IS THE COMMITTEE ON INSTITUTIONAL PSYCHIATRY (CIP) WHICH SUPPORTS THE INDIVIDUAL'S RIGHT TO REFUSE TREATMENT AND TO CHOOSE HIS TYPE OF THERAPY. OTHER SAFEGUARDS PROPOSED INCLUDE THE RIGHT TO A LEGAL ADVISOR, ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDEPENDENT MENTAL PATIENT'S COMPLAINT BOARD, THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE VISITORS AND ACCEPT OR REFUSE HOSPITAL WORK, AND EXPANDED RIGHTS TO MANAGE PROPERTIES AND PERSONAL AFFAIRS. MENTAL HEALTH ACTS ARE BEING CONSIDERED FOR REVIEW THROUGHOUT ATLANTIC CANADA AND THE NEW LAWS SHOULD CALL FOR THE STRICT PROTECTION OF THE RIGHTS OF MENTAL PATIENTS. (MJW)
Index Term(s): Canada; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Human research subject protection; Mental disorders; Mental health services; Mentally ill offenders; Persons with cognitive disabilities; Prisoner's rights
Note: ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN AXIOM, V 4 (SPRING 1975), P 6-9, 28-30
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63133

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