Therapeutic Jurisprudence: A New Approach to Mental Health Law

  • David B. Wexler
  • Robert F. Schopp


Modern mental health law was conceived when courts and commentators recognized that psychiatrists and other mental health professionals often promised society—and the legal system—far more than they were able to deliver (Kittrie, 1971; Szasz, 1963; cf. In re Gault, 1966). That era was typified by the legal profession’s deferring to psychiatry with respect to the content of the law and its administration (e.g., civil commitment , effectuated by a “two-physician certificate” rather than by a hearing). Today, by contrast, mental health law emphasizes matters such as procedural protections (due process hearings, assigned lawyers) for persons facing civil commitment.


Mental Health Professional Community Psychiatry Civil Commitment Insanity Defense Slippery Slope Argument 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Wexler
  • Robert F. Schopp

There are no affiliations available

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