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Dangerousness and civil commitment of the mentally ill: some public policy considerations
Am J Psychiatry 1975;132:501-505.
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Abstract

The author discusses "dangerousness to others" as a ground for involuntary civil commitment of the mentally ill, suggesting that there is often a confounding of legal/public-policy concerns and mental health concerns in issues related to this concept. The questionable nature of the presumption of dangerousness in mental patients and the overprediction of dangerous behavior for this group indicate that such commitment processes may circumvent legal safeguards designed to ensure due process. The author recommends that psychiatrists and other mental health professionals assume greater responsibility for the ways in which their services are used in these proceedings.

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