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APA's Model Law: Hurting the People It Seeks to Help
Leonard S. Rubenstein
Psychiatric Services 1985; doi:
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The Mental Health Law Project, 2021 L Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036

1985 American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

In the view of some patient advocates, APA's model law excessively increases psychiatrists' decision-making power in commitment proceedings and heightens the chances of unnecessary commitments by expanding grounds for commitment to include a substantial-deterioration standard, incorporating open-ended commitment criteria, and removing legal safeguards. The model law's encouragement of hospitalization is inconsistent with growing evidence that many patients do not benefit from hospitalization and obscures the need for greater resources for community care. Finally, by granting legal immunity to professionals, the law undercuts its professed desire to protect patients.

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