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Full-Text Articles in Health Law and Policy

The New Neurobiology Of Severe Psychiatric Disorders And Its Implications For Laws Governing Involuntary Commitment And Treatment, E Fuller Torrey, Kenneth Kress Nov 2004

The New Neurobiology Of Severe Psychiatric Disorders And Its Implications For Laws Governing Involuntary Commitment And Treatment, E Fuller Torrey, Kenneth Kress

ExpressO

Medical advances have led to statutory changes and common law overrulings. This paper argues that such changes are now needed for laws governing the involuntary commitment and treatment of individuals with severe psychiatric disorders. Recent advances in the understanding of the neurobiology of these disorders have rendered obsolete many assumptions underlying past statutes and legal decisions. This is illustrated by using schizophrenia as an example and examining two influential cases: California’s Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (1969) and Wisconsin’s Lessard decision (1972). It is concluded that laws governing involuntary commitment and treatment need to be updated to incorporate the current neurobiological ...


Mental Disorder And The Civil/Criminal Distinction, Grant H. Morris Sep 2004

Mental Disorder And The Civil/Criminal Distinction, Grant H. Morris

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

This essay, written as part of a symposium issue to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the University of San Diego Law School, discusses the evaporating distinction between sentence-serving convicts and mentally disordered nonconvicts who are involved in, or who were involved in, the criminal process–people we label as both bad and mad. By examining one Supreme Court case from each of the decades that follow the opening of the University of San Diego School of Law, the essay demonstrates how the promise that nonconvict mentally disordered persons would be treated equally with other civilly committed mental patients was made ...


Competency To Stand Trial On Trial, Grant H. Morris, Ansar M. Haroun, David Naimark Sep 2004

Competency To Stand Trial On Trial, Grant H. Morris, Ansar M. Haroun, David Naimark

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

This Article considers the legal standards for the determination of competency to stand trial, and whether those standards are understood and applied by psychiatrists and psychologists in the forensic evaluations they perform and in the judgments they make–judgments that are routinely accepted by trial courts as their own judgments. The Article traces the historical development of the competency construct and the development of two competency standards. One standard, used today in eight states that contain 25% of the population of the United States, requires that the defendant be able to assist counsel in the conduct of a defense “in ...


The New Neurobiology Of Severe Psychiatric Disorders And Its Implications For Laws Governing Involuntary Commitment And Treatment, E Fuller Torrey, Ken Kress Aug 2004

The New Neurobiology Of Severe Psychiatric Disorders And Its Implications For Laws Governing Involuntary Commitment And Treatment, E Fuller Torrey, Ken Kress

ExpressO

Medical advances have led to statutory changes and common law overrulings. This paper argues that such changes are now needed for laws governing the involuntary commitment and treatment of individuals with severe psychiatric disorders. Recent advances in the understanding of the neurobiology of these disorders have rendered obsolete many assumptions underlying past statutes and legal decisions. This is illustrated by using schizophrenia as an example and examining two influential cases: California’s Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (1969) and Wisconsin’s Lessard decision (1972). It is concluded that laws governing involuntary commitment and treatment need to be updated to incorporate the current neurobiological ...