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PSYCH 257 (141)

Mental Health Services Lecture and textbook notes (ch. 16) which details legal and ethical issues, ethical treatment and clinical practice guidelines.

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University of Waterloo
Uzma Rehman

Mental Health Services Legal and Ethical Issues March2911 231 PMEthical dilemmas faced abuse inadequate treatment etcIs a psychologist obligated to report assisted suicide rape murder abuse etcWho is privy to informationWhat about committing someone against their will Civil CommitmentCivil commitment laws legal proceedings that determine a person has a mental disorder and may be hospitalised even involuntarily o Each province and territory has its own civil commitment lawsCriteria for civil commitment o Most provincial legislation permits commitment when the following three criteria have been met person has a mental disorder person is dangerous to himselfherself or others the person is in need of treatment o All Canadian jurisdictions require the second but not all require the first and third o Definition of mental illness differs across Canada o Argued that more liberal definitions of dangerous are better for the patient otherwise they have to demonstrate being dangerous likely resulting in legal issues o Government justifies its right to act against the wishes of an individual under two types of authority police power and parens patriae power state as the parent Under police power government takes responsibility for protecting public health safety and welfareProvinces and territories apply second rationale in circumstances in which citizens are not likely to act in their own best interest o Person in need can always voluntarily request admission to a mental health facility may be accepted for treatment after evaluation o Civil commitment process initiated when others feel treatment or protection is necessary for an individual not voluntarily seeking help Usually one or two physicians or psychiatrists must conduct an assessment and agree that the person meets criteria for commitment o Those deemed suitable for commitment have alternatives like compulsory community treatments Main goal is to prevent relapse and provide care Not permitted in Canada unless there has already been previous inpatient treatment o Civil commitment process o Person fails to seek help but others feel that help is needed o Petition is made to a judge on behalf of the person o Individual in question must be notified of the civil commitment process o Normal legal proceedings in most cases o Determination is made by a judge regarding whether to commit the personDefining Mental Illness o Mental illness term formerly used to mean psychological disorder but less preferred because it implies that the cause of the disorder can be found in a medical disease process o Definition differs by jurisdiction
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