Litigating for Treatment: The Use of State Laws and Constitutions in Obtaining Treatment Rights for People with Mental Illness
68 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2008 Last revised: 21 Aug 2012
Date Written: 2003
This article addresses the potential utility of state law causes of action for obtaining community treatment rights for people with mental illness. Drawing on a 50-state survey of state treatment-rights case law, as well as in-depth analyses of the constitutions, statutes and regulations for the two most litigious state law-right-to-treatment states, the article analyzes the types of laws that are likely to be available for state law treatment-rights litigation as well as the benefits and drawbacks of such laws. The article concludes that the efficacy of using state law claims is likely to vary considerably from state to state, but that many states have laws that could provide a powerful adjunct or alternative to federal treatment-rights litigation.
Keywords: Treatment Rights, Mental Illness, State Law, Psychiatry and the Law
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