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

  • Report refutes claims that Scotland's detention rates outstrip rest of UK. McMillan, Ian // Mental Health Practice;Dec2004, Vol. 8 Issue 4, p4 

    Reports that the study conducted by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland have refuted the claims that people in Scotland are more likely to be detained under mental health legislation than people in England and Wales. Difference in the detention rate among Scotland, England and Wales;...

  • Clayton's Detention: a risky practice? Saunders, Linda // Australian Nursing Journal;Nov2008, Vol. 16 Issue 5, p31 

    The article discusses Clayton's Detention arrangement for the care, treatment and custody of those with a mental illness and at a risk of harming themselves or others. It discusses the case of Sandra Sanders, a detained patient, in confinement or custody, who was able to leave Moodbury Hospital...

  • Involuntary Outpatient Commitment of the Mentally Ill. Wilk, Ruta J. // Social Work;Mar88, Vol. 33 Issue 2, p133 

    The article examines the issue of involuntary outpatient commitment and its implications for social workers working in the mental health system. In layman's language, involuntary outpatient commitment is the legal and psychosocial process whereby an allegedly mentally disordered and dangerous...

  • The Search for Due Process in Civil Commitment Hearings: How Procedural Realities Have Altered Substantive Standards. Ferris, Christyne E. // Vanderbilt Law Review;Apr2008, Vol. 61 Issue 3, p959 

    The article focuses on the issues concerning the search for due process in civil commitment of mentally ill individuals in the U.S. It provides information on the background of the current state of due process including the emergence of a Constitutional model of Civil Commitment and the...

  • Reform of the Mental Health Act 1983. An effective tribunal system. Wood, Sir John; Wood, J // British Journal of Psychiatry;Jan93, Vol. 162, p14 

    The article discusses areas of the British Mental Health Act's tribunal system that need reform, despite the effectiveness of the system as a permanent aspect of the detention of psychiatric patients. The Mental Health Act introduced compulsory admission for assessment that could be challenged...

  • sectioning. Peters, Michael // BMA A-Z Family Medical Encyclopedia;2004, p679 

    An encyclopedia entry for "sectioning" is presented. It is a term referring to the implementation of a section of the "Mental Health Act" to detain a mentally ill person against will.

  • Should psychiatrists protect the public? Coid, Jeremy; Maden, Tony // BMJ: British Medical Journal (International Edition);2/22/2003, Vol. 326 Issue 7386, p406 

    Editorial. Comments on criminal legislation designed to improve public protection by introducing tighter controls on high-risk offenders. Idea that most psychiatrists may support the legislation; Public opposition to the mental health legislation, which is seen to circumvent human rights...

  • Compulsory Admission to Hospital: An Operational Review of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1960. Elliott, William A.; Timbury, Gerald C.; Walker, Margaret M. // British Journal of Psychiatry;Aug79, Vol. 135, p104 

    The working of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1960 is examined by analysis of compulsory admissions both nationally and to one Glasgow hospital. Comparisons are drawn with England and Wales. Despite a six-fold increase in admissions since 1945 the use of compulsory powers has remained almost...

  • Mental health act becomes law after concessions are made. Dyer, Clare // BMJ: British Medical Journal (International Edition);7/14/2007, Vol. 335 Issue 7610, p65 

    This article reports on the passage of a mental health bill by Britain's government after substantial concessions were made. The Mental Health Alliance, an umbrella group for 77 organisations, accused the ministers of missing an historical opportunity to achieve a humane act but welcomed the...


Read the Article


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

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics