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Overview: the right to treatment--comments on the law and its impact
Am J Psychiatry 1975;132:1125-1134.
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The constitutional right to treatment has now become an accepted premise of litigation in the United States. It lacks only the imprimatur of the Supreme Court. The author presents a brief description of the history of right to treatment cases and comments on the problems and possibilities the law holds for psychiatry. He warns that psychiatric institutions must be aware of the costs and benefits of such litigation and must obtain skilled legal counsel to advise them of their rights and obligations. He calls on psychiatry as a profession to participate in right to treatment litigation and to attempt to shape legal standards so that future generations of psychiatrists can provide appropriate care to patients.

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