Most healthcare treatment options are voluntary, meaning that a patient has the right to refuse care, even if it is in their best interest to comply. However, in some cases, psychiatric treatment can be mandatory. Involuntary treatment (which is also referred to as “assisted treatment”) is typically implemented when patients have been diagnosed with a severe mental disorder and pose a danger to themselves or others. Although the stipulations vary by state, all fifty states allow for some form of involuntary treatment for mental illness. Be sure to support your answers to the following questions with research.
- Is involuntary care ethical?
- Do patients with severe mental illness have the mental capacity to refuse or consent to treatment?
- Should patients be forced to take medications, be hospitalized, or undergo therapy against their will? If so, what should be the consequence for refusal?
- Are there better ways to encourage patients to adhere to their treatment plan?