The practice of coercive measures in psychiatry is controversial. Although some have suggested that it may be acceptable if patients are a danger to others or to themselves, others committed themselves to eliminate it. Ethical, legal and clinical considerations become more complex when the mental incapacity is temporary and when the coercive measures serve to restore autonomy. We discuss these issues, addressing the conflict between autonomy and beneficence/non-maleficence, human dignity, the experiences of patients and the effects of coercive measures. We argue that an appeal to respect autonomy and/or human dignity cannot be a sufficient reason to reject coercive measures. All together, these ethical aspects can be used both to support and to reject a non-seclusion approach.
The total lack of controlled trials about the beneficial effects of coercive measures in different populations however, argues against the use of coercive measures.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Competing interests: None.