Almost A Revolution: Mental Health Law and the Limits of Change by Paul S. AppelbaumAlmost A Revolution: Mental Health Law and the Limits of Change by Paul S. Appelbaum

Almost A Revolution: Mental Health Law and the Limits of Change

byPaul S. Appelbaum

Hardcover | June 1, 1994

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Doubts about the reality of mental illness and the benefits of psychiatric treatment helped foment a revolution in the law's attitude toward mental disorders over the last 25 years. Legal reformers pushed for laws to make it more difficult to hospitalize and treat people with mental illness,and easier to punish them when they committed criminal acts. Advocates of reform promised vast changes in how our society deals with the mentally ill; opponents warily predicted chaos and mass suffering. Now, with the tide of reform ebbing, Paul Appelbaum examines what these changes have wrought.The message emerging from his careful review is a surprising one: less has changed than almost anyone predicted. When the law gets in the way of commonsense beliefs about the need to treat serious mental illness, it is often put aside. Judges, lawyers, mental health professionals, family members,and the general public collaborate in fashioning an extra-legal process to accomplish what they think is fair for persons with mental illness. Appelbaum demonstrates this thesis in analyses of four of the most important reforms in mental health law over the past two decades: involuntaryhospitalization, liability of professionals for violent acts committed by their patients, the right to refuse treatment, and the insanity defense. This timely and important work will inform and enlighten the debate about mental health law and its implications and consequences. The book will beessential for psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, lawyers, and all those concerned with our policies toward people with mental illness.

About The Author

Paul S. Appelbaum, M.D., is Arnold Frank Zeleznik Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and Director of the Law and Psychiatry Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. He has served as chair of the American Psychiatric Association's Council on Psychiatry and Law and Commission on Judicial...

Details & Specs

Title:Almost A Revolution: Mental Health Law and the Limits of ChangeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:248 pages, 9.49 × 6.5 × 0.83 inPublished:June 1, 1994Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195068807

ISBN - 13:9780195068801

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Table of Contents

1. Setting the Stage for Reform2. Involuntary Commitment of the Mentally Ill: Civil Liberties and Common Sense3. Duty to Protect Potential Victims of Patients' Violence: Public Peril vs. Protective Privilege4. Right to Refuse Treatment with Medication: Consent, Coercion, and the Courts5. The Insanity Defense: Moral Blameworthiness and Criminal Punishment6. The Consequences of Reform in Mental Health Law

From Our Editors

Doubts about the reality of mental illness and the benefits of psychiatric treatment helped foment a revolution in the law's attitude toward mental disorders over the last 25 years. Legal reformers pushed for laws to make it more difficult to hospitalize and treat people with mental illness, and easier to punish them when they committed criminal acts. Advocates of reform promised vast changes in how our society deals with the mentally ill; opponents warily predicted chaos and mass suffering. Now, with the tide of reform ebbing, Paul Appelbaum examines what these changes have wrought. The message emerging from his careful review is a surprising one: less has changed than almost anyone predicted. When the law gets in the way of commonsense beliefs about the need to treat serious mental illness, it is often put aside. Judges, lawyers, mental health professionals, family members, and the general public collaborate in fashioning an extra-legal process to accomplish what they think is fair for persons with mental illness. Appelbaum demonstrates this thesis in analyses o

Editorial Reviews

"An excellent book, not only because of Appelbaum's conscientious scholarship but also because he is a superb writer....Appelbaum has done a masterful job...Should hold fascination for any medical care provider....A vigorously scholarly book that gives us pause but also renews our faith inhuman beings' ability to transcend headlong rushes to judgment."--Journal of the American Medical Association