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Bridging the Gap: An Evaluation of Involuntary Commitment Personal Narratives and Academic Literature

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Bridging the Gap: An Evaluation of Involuntary Commitment Personal Narratives and Academic Literature
Casey, Alexandra R.
Involuntary commitment has an extensive history in the United States. The practice requires forcibly admitting an individual with a mental health disorder into an inpatient treatment facility on the grounds that the individual poses a significant threat of danger to him/herself or others. Involuntary commitment raises issues of ethical concern largely due to the restriction of individual freedom that occurs during commitment. This thesis examines both involuntary commitment academic literature and personal narratives in order to establish the argument that personal narratives can be used to enhance the protection of individuals’ rights and welfare in cases of involuntary commitment. Through a historical analysis, academic literature revealed three main themes: autonomy, treatment by caregivers, and violation of individual rights. The themes that emerged from narrative study were autonomy and personal freedom, the patient-provider relationship, and mental health stigma. This research suggests that increasing individual freedom to the extent possible in the involuntary commitment setting, establishing quality respectful relationships with patients, using effective communication, and avoiding mental health stigma may improve patients’ experience with involuntary commitment. Doing so may also allow caregivers to increase the protection of patients’ rights and welfare during involuntary commitment.
Involuntary Commitment
Personal Narrative
King, Nancy M P (committee chair)
Hyde, Michael J (committee member)
Iltis, Ana (committee member)
2017-01-14T09:35:22Z (accessioned)
2017-01-14T09:35:22Z (available)
2016 (issued)
Bioethics (discipline)
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/64184 (uri)
en (iso)
Wake Forest University

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