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Public Mental Health$
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William W. Eaton and M. Daniele Fallin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190916602

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190916602.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2021

Mental Health and the Law

Mental Health and the Law

(p.373) 13 Mental Health and the Law
Public Mental Health

Deborah Agus

Kristin E. Schneider

Oxford University Press

The law lays the framework for all government systems, and public health is no exception. Understanding the legal framework of the United States is essential to designing a functional and legitimate behavioral health service system. The unique structure of US law, which is a constitutional system balanced by statutes and which is federalist in principle, creates both opportunities and challenges to a public health system that similarly strives to balance individual needs and rights with the health and needs of the community. The chapter explains how law is developed and delves into current legal issues that are understood through the lens of a permanent legal structure as interpreted over time. The chapter begins with an explanation of the legal system and legal methods and then explores issues related to individual rights and concerns such as dangerousness, right to treatment, coercive treatment, and the individual rights of choice. When finished, the reader will have a comprehensive outlook providing a tool to analyze issues that are current and dynamic.

Keywords:   US Constitution, public, law, coercion, choice, right to treatment, Supreme Court, individual rights

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