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Health Law and Policy Commons

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University of San Diego

Medical Jurisprudence

2005

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Full-Text Articles in Health Law and Policy

Pursuing Justice For The Mentally Disabled, Grant H. Morris Jun 2005

Pursuing Justice For The Mentally Disabled, Grant H. Morris

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

This article considers whether lawyers act as zealous advocates when they represent mentally disordered, involuntarily committed patients who wish to assert their right to refuse treatment with psychotropic medication. After discussing a study that clearly demonstrates that lawyers do not do so, the article explores the reasons for this inappropriate behavior. Michael Perlin characterizes the problem as “sanism,” which he describes as an irrational prejudice against mentally disabled persons of the same quality and character as other irrational prejudices that cause and are reflected in prevailing social attitudes of racism, sexism, homophobia, and ethnic bigotry. The article critiques Perlin’s ...