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Dr. Paul Appelbaum in PsychiatryOnline

Coercion and Autonomy Sometimes Collide in Patient-Care Decisions
June 16, 2014 - June 17, 2014

Coercion in mental health care has a long but highly variable history in psychiatry, said Paul Appelbaum, M.D., the Dollard Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, and Law and director of the Division of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, speaking at the same session.

In the United States, individuals with mental illness could be committed to a workhouse under the “poor laws” in colonial times, he said. In 1752, people with mental illness were treated at the Pennsylvania Hospital (the nation’s first) with other patients, but there was no legal oversight, and the patient’s fate was controlled by his or her family, he continued.

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