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Kremens v. Bartley: The Right to Be Free
David Ferleger
Psychiatric Services 1976; doi:
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Mental Patient Civil Liberties Project Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 2321 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103

1976 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

The author, counsel for the children in the child-commitment case now before the Supreme Court, describes the necessity for legal protections for children prior to mental institutionalization. He maintains that frequently a child is placed in an institution not because he or she will benefit from such placement, but because it benefits his parents or eases family conflicts. He describes the dangers of institutionalization and notes the expansion of this mode of treatment for juveniles. He explains the events that led to the decision to argue for the rights of his clients to challenge their commitments, and he presents the legal arguments for granting children the same rights to due process as adults presently have.

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