Ethical Issues in Mental Illness (Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy)
This book is an attempt to address the ethical issues raised by mental illness and its treatment by focusing on the question of autonomy. The mentally ill may be regarded as non-autonomous by virtue of irrationality, which may result in treatment models which deny them a voice. As a counter to this, some have moved to the other extreme and argued that the mentally ill must be regarded as fully autonomous in all circumstances, and consequently that all their wishes regarding treatment must be respected. This book examines the ethical consequences of such simplistic approaches towards autonomy and mental illness, and considers the ethical issues raised by specific forms of treatment. It is suggested in conclusion that improvement in the care and treatment of the mentally ill requires not only a fundamental change in social attitudes but also a less impoverished conception of autonomy than some of those currently employed.
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