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University of Nevada, Las Vegas -- William S. Boyd School of Law

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Mental Disorders

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The Danger Zone: How The Dangerousness Standard In Civil Commitment Proceedings Harms People With Serious Mental Illness, Sara Gordon Jan 2016

The Danger Zone: How The Dangerousness Standard In Civil Commitment Proceedings Harms People With Serious Mental Illness, Sara Gordon

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Almost every American state allows civil commitment upon a finding that a person, as a result of mental illness, is gravely disabled and unable to meet their basic needs for food and shelter. Yet in spite of these statutes, most psychiatrists and courts will not commit an individual until they are found to pose a danger to themselves or others. All people have certain rights to be free from unwanted medical treatment, but for people with serious mental illness, those civil liberties are an abstraction, safeguarded for them by a system that is not otherwise ensuring access to shelter and ...