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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76496 Find in a Library
Title: Mental Health Law - Major Issues
Author(s): D B Wexler
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 269
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Publishing Corp
New York, NY 10013-1576
Sale Source: Plenum Publishing Corp
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013-1576
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Intended for both professionals and students, the book provides detailed coverage of the commitment system and major issues in the law of therapy.
Abstract: The first part deals with the relationship between theory and practice in the commitment system. Two types of commitment are covered--civil commitment (i.e., the ordinary process of commitment, unconnected with a person's involvement in the criminal justice system) and criminal commitment involving persons found not guilty by reason of insanity or incompetent to stand trial. The account of an actual incident explores the difficulties in, and the relationship between, the civil and criminal commitment systems. The second part dealing with major issues in the law of therapy begins by looking at the touchy subject of confidentiality and therapist testimony including the controversial Tarasoff court decision. The following chapter lays the factual foundation for psychosurgery (the most controversial therapy) and criticizes the conceptual underpinnings of the Kaimowitz case, the major legal decision concerning psychosurgery. The behavioral principles underlying token economics, a more common form of behavior modification, are set forth. In view of the need for regulations of therapist activities, the history, development and content of one model proposed by a multidisciplinary team are presented; the section includes the protective guidelines for institutional use drafted after a crisis situation in a Florida mental retardation facility. The closing chapter focuses on future mental health law issues (especially deinstitutionalization and community living) and on changing judicial perspectives emphasizing the interrelation between mental health law development and multidisciplinary mental health law scholarship. The book includes bibliographical footnotes. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Civil commitment; Criminal methods; Laws and Statutes; Mental defectives; Mental health; Mentally ill offenders; Privileged communications; Psychosurgery; Token economies
Note: Perspectives in Law and Psychology Series, volume 4.
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