Mental health laws surrounding psychiatric treatment under coercion have remained largely unchanged since the eighteenth century. The grounds for involuntary treatment in psychiatry are first, that the patient has a "mental disorder" that warrants treatment; and second, that the patient needs to be treated in the interests of his or her safety or for the protection of others.
Men in White Coats: Treatment under Coercion is an accessible and timely resource on medical treatment under coercion and its justifications. Split into thirteen chapters, George Szmukler examines the current grounds for involuntary treatment of patients with mental disorders. He argues that the existing laws are both discriminatory and morally unacceptable, and that they should be replaced by an entirely different approach for over-riding treatment refusals.
Using case studies and real-life experiences, Men in White Coats: Treatment under Coercion discusses how involuntary treatment in psychiatric practice affects patients, their families, and society, and looks to potential solutions to the current legal frameworks surrounding coercion that could be made applicable across all medical specialties and settings.