Mass culture of coercive psychiatric confinement

Chase, Anthony
January 2007
BMC Psychiatry;2007 Supplement 1, Vol. 7, Special section p1
Academic Journal
In Movies on Trial, I examine ways in which popular legal culture (especially television, fiction, and film) helps shape American attitudes toward different aspects of legal process and legal system. Among the topics I consider are criminal law, tort law, international law, constitutional law, and comparative law. I am now writing a second book on this subject, Movies on Appeal, and I will be examining a second tier of legal topics or subjects (contract law, property law, the law of war, labor law) and how they are treated in mass culture. Specifically, I will be adding a chapter on law and psychiatry, a course which I have taught to law students for about 20 years. I wish to examine the ways in which popular legal culture helps to shape images (and perceptions) of coercive psychiatric confinement in the United States. Perhaps no other issue in the field of law and psychiatry has captured public attention or the focus of mass culture like involuntary civil commitment. I not only want to compare and contrast images of such confinement in television, fiction, and film, but I want to show concretely what connections exist between popular images and popular perception, and between the latter and professional practice in this field.


Related Articles

  • Policies regarding coercive care in Swedish child and adolescent psychiatry. Kjellin, Lars // BMC Psychiatry;2007 Supplement 1, Vol. 7, Special section p1 

    Background To investigate the routines for involuntary admissions and treatment according to the Swedish Compulsory Psychiatric Care Act in Swedish child and adolescent psychiatry. Methods A questionnaire specially designed for the study was sent to the heads of all 24 child and adolescent...

  • Children's rights to participate in medical decisions, with special reference to coercive treatment. Svensson, Gustav // BMC Psychiatry;2007 Supplement 1, Vol. 7, Special section p1 

    Background The objective was to investigate legal rights of children with regard to medical matters, especially their right to make decisions of their own. Methods To fulfil the main objective traditional legal methods have been used. That means that above all the legal rules, the preparatory...

  • One in three people concerned about draft mental health Bill. Scott, Helen // British Journal of Nursing;9/26/2002, Vol. 11 Issue 17, p1112 

    Editorial. Comments on a proposed mental health legislation in Great Britain. Provisions concerning compulsory treatment; Differences of the bill from the 1983 Mental Health Act; Circumstances set in the bill under which patients should seek treatment.

  • Detaining dangerous people with mental disorders. Birmingham, Luke // BMJ: British Medical Journal (International Edition);7/6/2002, Vol. 325 Issue 7354, p2 

    Editorial. Focuses on the draft of a mental health bill in Great Britain that introduces a legal framework for the compulsory treatment of people with mental disorders in hospitals and in the community. Discussion of the procedure for compulsion, protection of patient rights, the definition of...

  • The Danger of Coercive Psychiatry. Szasz, Thomas S. // American Bar Association Journal;Oct75, Vol. 61 Issue 10, p1246 

    Discusses the illegitimacy of the practice of coercive psychiatry in the United States. Violation of the liberty and dignity of the patients; Justification of involuntary psychiatry by its proponents.

  • Compulsory treatment fears remain despite claims of 'scaremongering'.  // Community Care;11/23/2006, Issue 1650, p12 

    The article reports that mental health tsar Louis Appleby has accused critics of the Mental Health Bill of scaremongering over proposals for compulsory treatment in the community. Speaking at the bill's launch Appleby said opponents of supervised community treatment were scaring patients into...

  • Deadlock as bill goes to Lords. Mithran // Community Care;6/28/2007, Issue 1679, p21 

    The article reports that the British government and opponents of the Mental Health Bill are refusing to budge on remaining areas of contention, including the use of compulsory community treatment. The main area of discord is the use of compulsory treatment orders (CTOs) in the community. The...

  • Draft bill dumped but campaigners fear compulsion will still increase. Brody, Simeon; Hayes, Derren // Community Care;3/30/2006, Issue 1616, p10 

    The article reports on the abandonment of the Mental Health Bill which was welcomed by campaigners but has warned that the British government's alternative plans could extend the use of compulsory treatment in Great Britain. British health minister Rosie Winterton has announced that the...

  • Psychiatry in Britain: An Introduction. Zealley, A.K. // British Medical Journal;3/1/1975, Vol. 1 Issue 5956, p497 

    Investigates the practice of psychological medicine in Great Britain. Implementation of the Mental Health Act; Rarity of schizophrenics becoming long-stay patients in hospitals; Need for psychiatry to align the profession with the major medical specialties; Problems confronting psychiatry.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics