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Understanding the Procedures on How to Commit an Adult to a Psychiatric Hospital, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 762

Essay

Mr. Frederick Crimson is a 78 year old father of three children and a grandfather to eleven grandchildren. During the first years of his retirement, he has been nothing but a delight to the other members of his family. Even though he has already been left by his wife at least five years prior to his retirement, he was noted to be a jolly person. However, during his 77th birthday, Mr. Crimson was observed by his children as well as his grandchildren to be showing specific signs of being irritable. The situation even went further up to the point of him being engaged in a disagreement with his 19 year old grandson about dealing with a specific program in the computer. His grandson reported that after having a supposed heated up disagreement, his grandfather began hitting him with his hands and the hits were quite hard that he was able to contend some bruises in his arms. The parents of the young man were alarmed and thus decided to talk to the father. They had the old man checked and he was simply diagnosed to have been suffering from regular depression that old-aged individuals usually go through. The family tried to understand the situation at first, however at the end of his 78th year, he became even more destructive pushing the family to decide to ask for help in submitting him under the care of a psychiatric hospital which was recommended by their friend.

Back in the times, it was easy enough to say that a person is ‘crazy’ and that he has to be put away. Administrators of psychiatric institutions simply need to get proof that they are indeed crazy and they are then taken away to be rehabilitated and supported on their supposed needs, both in the psychiatric and their physical needs for medication assistance. Today, these direct procedures are not suffice to convince the court that a person is relatively in need of being subjected to a psychiatric facility. To note, the situation of human individuals that are assumed to be fully directed to be accepted in such special facilities ought to follow through the principles of liberty-limiting. These principles include (a) the harm principle, (b) the principle of legal paternalism, (c) principle of legal moralism, and the (d) offence principle.

Basically, the harm principle implicates that individual liberty is in need to be fully limited because of the possibility of the person to harm others. The principle of legal paternalism is on the other hand imposed to prevent a person to implicate hurt on himself. The principle of legal moralism is applied to prevent an individual to induce immoral harm on others through uncontrolled immoral behavior towards others. Lastly, the offense principle, is the manner by which the individual’s liberty or freedom is limited to prevent his offense on others due to the obvious harmful reactions of the person towards certain situations that he faces in a daily basis.

Adult individuals who may actually be undergoing specific medically related imbalances usually present undesirable behaviors. Most often than not, it is because of these attitudes towards others that they become harmful and thus are considered unsafe to be with especially in relation to the family members they may be living with. Like Mr. Crimson, not all of these changes in the attitude and behavior in the individual may impose that they are ‘bad’. Simply put, some lose control of the way they think, usually causing them to be involved in making poor decisions. Sometimes, these decisions result to unwarranted reactions that become harmful to others. Psychiatric facilities specifically designed for troubled old individuals may best help in reducing the tension in relation to this situation.

In this case, providing evidences to the court with regards the danger that the individual presents the family with is a must in pursuing the desire to put him in a psychiatric facility. The court may not immediately be convinced to put the individual under the continuous case of a psychiatric facility. Instead, it may first suggest that the individual undergo specific treatment under the supervision of a professional. In the condition by which the attitude of the individual does not change through time, then the decision on finally allowing the person to be subjected under psychiatric care could be released according to the depth of the situation being considered.

References:

Dworkin, Gerald, “Paternalism”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2010 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)

Mill, J.S. [1859]/(1991) ‘On Liberty’, published in Gray, John (ed), John Stuart Mill: On Liberty and Other Essays, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p.14.

 

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