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Legal and Ethical Issues

The mental health treatment system has an uneasy relationship with the legal system. Under certain circumstances people can be forced into mental health treatment. Here are resources concerning legal and ethical issues in mental health.

Forced Mental Health Treatment Has a Place
The New York Court of Appeals has upheld the state law allowing concerned family and friends to seek a court order forcing a patient to accept mental health treatment.

Outpatient 'Commitment': A View From Another Bridge
Harold A. Maio is an advocate for the rights of persons with mental illnesses. He shares his ideas about new laws calling for “involuntary outpatient treatment.” He expresses the hope that the mental health system that had denied services to patients in the past will now be required to provide services to people who need them.

Creating Schizophrenic Mice
Is it ethical to genetically engineer mice in order to give them a disorder that resembles schizophrenia? Most scientists believe that it is.

Professional Liability and Professional Ethics
Excellent resources from the New York chapter of NASW

Mental Health Law
The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law is a wonderful resource focusing on advocacy of the rights of persons with mental illness.

Psychiatric Advance Directive
Information on the advance directive including sample forms.

Social Workers and Subpoenas
Information about how mental health profesionals should respond to a subpoena. An article written for social workers, but of interest to all profesionals.

Bioethics.net
Great site from the University of Pennsylvania highlighting a wide range of bioethical issues.

Ethics Resources on the Web
The University of British Columbia provides in-depth resources.

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