Guardianship for the severely mentally ill

Yuval Melamed*, Robert Kimchi, Yoram Barak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The process of appointing a guardian in the mental health field is a complex and important one. The guardian's duty is to protect a patient who is incompetent in making his own decisions. The guardian's role can be to correct past mistakes made by the patient (i.e. loss of property), manage the patient's present affairs and prevent future undesirable consequences. Characteristics of patients who are in need of guardianship have not previously been studied in Israel. We examined the characteristics of 60 hospitalized patients for whom a guardian was appointed, comparing them with another group of patients. Variables relating to disease severity such as diagnosis, duration of illness and employment status contrasted the groups. We may tentatively conclude that patients in need of legal guardianship are more severely ill than other mentally ill.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-326
Number of pages6
JournalMedicine and Law
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Guardianship
  • Mentally ill


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