Involuntary Commitment and the Issue of Patient?s Rights
The issue of involuntary commitment and its place in the mental health community has become increasingly controversial. Interestingly, both sides of the debate use an argument based on the violation of rights and the protection of rights in an attempt to prove a point. As with many mental health policies, the rules governing involuntary commitment are flawed. However, involuntary commitment is one of the ways that the mental health arena takes responsibility for the safety of society and the mentally ill individuals. Involuntary commitment should not be abolished because it serves a protective purpose, however the rights of the mentally ill population must always be considered and evaluated before instituting involuntary commitment.
In an effort to avoid involuntary commitment, society must increase the amount and availability of less restrictive opportunities for treatment including the availability of medication. The National Mental Health Association discusses the accessibility issue concerning medication in their position statement on involuntary commitment. NMHA states, ?consumers are sometimes forced to take less effective medications due to restrictive formularies and in order to reduce costs. In addition, the lack of parity between physical and mental
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