Right to treatment suits can serve as agents of change in the standards
and function of psychiatric institutions. The author evaluated five state
psychiatric institutions as an expert witness in right to treatment suits.
He found that changes for the better were made in most of these
institutions as a result of the suit, whether it was settled or unsettled.
Although he enumerates the problems caused by such suits, he concludes that
they can be a positive force for improving mental health care.