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Two decades of involuntary hospitalization legislation
Am J Psychiatry 1984;141:33-38.
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Abstract

In 10 of the 13 cases the author examined, after passage of a state statute affecting involuntary admission to state psychiatric hospitals the percentage of involuntary admissions changed significantly in the direction intended by the legislature. The findings support the hypothesis that state laws significantly influence involuntary admission rates and, consequently, clinical practice. The findings also demonstrate that legislative intent in the late 1960s and early 1970s supported restriction of involuntary hospitalization and that a move toward liberalization of its use occurred in the late 1970s. The author recommends greater involvement by psychiatrists in the formulation of legislation that has an influence on their clinical work.

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