The author considers the effect of recent mental health litigation
involving involuntary confinement, the right to refuse treatment, the least
restrictive alternative, and the right to treatment on the role of the
psychiatrist and the provision of mental health care. His thesis is that
the implicit analogies between psychiatrists and agents of the criminal
justice system and between patients and criminal defendants are misleading
and that the recent changes in the law based on these analogies adversely
affect the provision of mental health care.