Conflict exists between medical model and civil liberties approaches to
involuntary hospitalization for mental illness. The amassing and analysis
of data will not resolve this conflict because the two sides view the
problem from differing moral vantage points. Medical model adherents are
influenced chiefly by utilitarian or consequentialist considerations, while
the civil libertarians take more of a deontological or absolutist position.
Opinions about such issues as hospitalization criteria of dangerousness
versus medical necessity and the relative role of rights versus obligations
and of autonomy versus paternalism can be seen largely to depend on such
underlying value judgments. Neither side has a monopoly on truth or right
in the question of involuntary hospitalization.