Ethical Issues In Patient Care

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New York in the 80s had streets full of citizens who were homeless and were being institutionalized for a mental disability, such as the case of Joyce Brown. The use of involuntary psychiatric commitment for an individual – although a justifiable act to a physician due to the principle of utility stating the need to help the most people for the best outcome – should not deny a patient’s right to autonomy, especially at the cost of non-maleficence.
The United States has changed the ways in which a person is assessed and put into psychiatric treatment against their will by the judgement of the physician. There were patients who had chronic illnesses and were subdued by restraints and sedation up to 1950s. Moving forward towards the 60’s, the criteria of hospitalization started to change when questions on how well asylums worked and their ethical problems with patient care were
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It is right to hold someone against their will and forcible give them medications because of their social status. Brown was a homeless woman with a non-existent income and had a history of drug use. In that aspect anyone roaming outside who looks underdressed or has maybe a shirt with some stains on it but decided to run to the store real quick can be put into a psychiatric hospital and diagnosed mentally unstable. Through the psychiatrist’s eyes he might have thought that he was helping this woman by giving her medication to help cope with the problems seen. He was trying to help her regain her life and get her back out into society as a changed person. Forcing Joyce to take these medications could indicate that it was either physical or emotional pain she felt. To be placed into a room with everyone thinking you are crazy and in need of being helped is a scary
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