Therapeutic jurisprudence and the civil rights of institutionalized mentally disabled persons: hopeless oxymoron or path to redemption?

M L Perlin, K K Gould, D A Dorfman
Psychology, Public Policy, and Law 1995, 1 (1): 80-119
This article examines, from a therapeutic jurisprudence (TJ) perspective, the rights of institutionalized mentally disabled persons to determine whether TJ is compatible with positions advancing civil rights and liberties, and whether lawyers for such individuals should look more closely to TJ as a source of rights. It concludes (a) that despite harsh criticisms of mental disability law reform, most of the important decisions in the areas of involuntary civil commitment, right to treatment, and right to refuse treatment law have a strong TJ component and (b) that TJ analyses may be the appropriate tool to reinvigorate this area of mental disability law.

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