The Ideology of Entitlement: The Contemporary Function of Law and Its Application to Psychiatry

  • L. Gostin
Part of the Medicolegal Library book series (MEDICOLEGAL, volume 5)

Abstract

The legal approach to psychiatry — the application of a formal body of procedural and substantive rules to shape and control mental health services and practices — is now well established in a number of modern Western societies. This paper will describe and explain the function of law in relation to psychiatry in two areas: the contribution of law to the provision of health and social services, and the use of law in defining the parameters of psychiatric decision-making and practices. The ideology of entitlement, on the face of it, appears to be an ill-conceived philosophy on the basis of which to promote the interests of any socially impoverished group of people. The law has traditionally been perceived as concerned more with maintaining and enforcing the social order than with the provision of services or the meeting of social needs. This paper will present a case for a legislative planning approach and will critically examine the “judicial moralism” apparent in the United States.

Keywords

Assure 

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References

Starutes

  1. The Lunacy Act 1890, 53 and 54 Vict., chap 5Google Scholar
  2. The Mental Health Act 1959, 7 and 8 Eliz. 2, chap 72Google Scholar
  3. The Mental Health Act 1983, chap 20Google Scholar

Cases

  1. X v. the United Kingdom, application number 6998/75, European Court of Human Rights, judgment given 5 November 1981Google Scholar
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  8. Smith v. the United Kingdom, application number 6870/75, decision of the European Commission of Human Rights adopted on 7 October 1981Google Scholar
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  12. New York State Association for Retarded Children v. Carey, 393 F. Supp. 1975Google Scholar
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Articles

  1. 1.
    Gostin L (1982) Human rights, judicial review and the mentally disordered offender. Criminal Law Review, pp 779–783Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gostin L (1983) Contemporary social historical perspectives on mental health law. J Law and Society 10(1): 47–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Gostin

There are no affiliations available

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