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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1080106
 
 

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Coercion is Coercion?: Reflections on Clinical Trends in Use of Compulsion in Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa Patients


Terry Carney


University of Sydney - Faculty of Law

David Tait


University of Canberra

Stephen Touyz


University of Sydney


Australasian Psychiatry, Vol. 15, No. 5, pp. 390-395, 2007
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/09

Abstract:     
OBJECTIVE: This paper explores similarities and differences between formal coercion and other forms of 'strong persuasion' in clinical decision-making about medical management of patients with severe anorexia nervosa. METHOD: The paper builds on findings from analysis of data from 117 successive admissions to an eating disorder facility, where an eating disorder was the primary diagnosis. RESULTS: The study implications of particular interest in this paper are the findings that legal coercion into treatment was associated with three main indicators: the patient's past history (number of previous admissions); the complexity of their condition (the number of other psychiatric co morbidities); and their current health risk (measured either by Body Mass Index or the risk of re-feeding syndrome). CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that clinicians use legal coercion very sparingly in treating severe anorexia nervosa, distinguishing legal coercion from other forms of close clinical management of patients. While we agree with Monahan et al and others, that there are similarities between legal coercion and other forms of strong clinical management (or power), our results suggest that NSW clinicians recognise the importance of maintaining, rather than blurring that distinction.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 13

Keywords: Anorexia Nervosa, Legal and Clinical Coercion, Clinical Management

JEL Classification: K10, K32, I10

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Date posted: January 3, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Carney, Terry and Tait, David and Touyz, Stephen, Coercion is Coercion?: Reflections on Clinical Trends in Use of Compulsion in Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa Patients. Australasian Psychiatry, Vol. 15, No. 5, pp. 390-395, 2007; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/09. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1080106

Contact Information

Terry Carney (Contact Author)
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law ( email )
Faculty of Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
David Tait
University of Canberra ( email )
Law Faculty
Canberra, ACT 2601
Australia
Stephen Touyz
University of Sydney ( email )
University of Sydney
Sydney NSW 2006
Australia
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