New Book Looks At Involuntary Psychiatric Care

The authors of “Committed: The Battle Over Involuntary Psychiatric Care,” Dinah Miller and Annette Hanson, show both sides of the argument over involuntary treatment in the book but conclude that involuntary commitment is not the best solution.

Hanson said that although a small number of studies suggest that involuntary treatment decreases hospitalization and increases compliance with care, there is no indication that it decreases the violent crime rate. But she said people with serious mental illness commit fewer than 4 percent of all violent crimes and are more likely to be the victim of a crime than the perpetrator.

In the book, the authors tell the stories of people who have had both bad and good experiences with involuntary treatment. But, Hanson said, that it is hard to find people who feel grateful for involuntary care.

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