Argument Made Against Coerced Treatment For People With Serious Mental Illnesses

In a Baltimore Sun (1/7) op-ed, Laura Cain, Esq., a senior attorney with the Maryland Disability Law Center, Linda Raines, chief executive officer of the Mental Health Association of Maryland, and Mike Finkle, executive director of On Our Own in Maryland, contend that coercing patients with serious mental illnesses to undergo treatment may sometimes be more harmful than beneficial. The three write that “despite dramatic treatment advances, we do not have treatment that works for all.”

After quoting National Institute of Mental Health Director Thomas Insel, MD, who wrote of some study patients with schizophrenia, “Clearly, some individuals need to be on medication continually to avoid relapse. At the same time, we need to ask whether in the long-term, some individuals with a history of psychosis may do better off medication,” Cain, Raines and Finkle conclude that “coercion must be the last resort.”

Related Links:

— “Forced treatment not a panacea,” Laura Cain, Linda Raines and Mike Finkle, Baltimore Sun, January 7, 2015.

Posted in In The News.