The Ethics of Mandated Treatment

The Ethics of Mandated Treatment

Scenario 1

In this scenario, the psychiatrist is guided by deontological ethics in advising the patient to continue with treatment. The belief by the psychiatrist that the client requires continuous treatment after being discharged from the hospital shows how the strongly he seeks to ensure the patient adheres to morality and societal rule of law (Peters, 2015). This implies that once patients with dangerous behavior require close monitoring and continuous medication as required by law.

Clients suffering from dangerous behavior require continuous treatment with or without being coerced. The law provides for strict adherence to psychiatrists medical instructions in attempts to end dangerous behavior (Foxx, 2003). Psychiatrists affirm that treatment termination by patients destabilizes the already issued medication and that until they certify its termination, clients must continue to take the treatment.

Evaluating the effectiveness of dangerous behavior treatment is faced with various challenges some of which include:

  • Clients’ decision to terminate treatment: Clients decision to end treatment without psychiatrists’ advice disables psychiatrists’ ability to evaluate the effectiveness of this situation’s treatment.
  • The uncertainty of patients’ future behavior: While the medication is mandatory, mental experts have been unable to predict clients’ future behavior even after considering their situation as stable after treatment when discharging them to the community (Foxx, 2003). In this scenario, the psychiatrist argues in a court of law that the client has a potential of getting imminently dangerous in future without treatment although that is not certain.

As a mental health professional, this mandated treatment would impact on my clinical decision making given the client’s behavior of terminating treatment after being discharged to the community. As a psychiatrist, I may decide to subject the client to inpatient treatment until he completes the treatment as prescribed by the law and required of as a medical expert.