United States Supreme Court and psychiatry: A critical look

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The entrance of the United States Supreme Court into the field of mental health law in the last decade has been seen by some as heralding a commitment of the Court to mental health issues. A review of key cases reveals a disjointed approach to the issues with an ambivalence and inconsistency in the viewpoint taken toward the role and efficacy of psychiatry. While some cases have emphasized individual rights, such as incompetency issues, and a newly created right to psychiatric assistance at trial for indigents, other cases have refused to give psychiatric treatment centers the right to administered treatment without at least administrative if not judicial supervision. The cases reveal the lack of an overall jurisprudential viewpoint, and perhaps even a trend to return to the level of letting each state go its own way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-164
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Psychiatry and Law
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1985


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