Balancing autonomy and beneficence at the time of psychiatric discharge
As in much of the world, mental health law in Israel has evolved over the past half-century toward greater protection of patients’ liberty and an increased emphasis on due process. Part of that process in Israel involved taking decisions about prolonged involuntary hospitalization out of the hands of treating psychiatrists and turning them over to independent review panels. Argo and colleagues examined outcomes of discharge decisions made by these panels compared with treating psychiatrists. In this brief commentary, we describe related trends in mental health law in other countries, especially the U.S., consider countervailing perspectives on the role of review panels, and suggest how the Argo et al. study might be followed up with additional research.
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Autonomy, Beneficence, Civil commitment, Discharge, Ethics, Involuntary hospitalization, Judicial review, Law, Non-medical decision-making, Psychiatry