The District Psychiatrist Institution: A criticism

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The District Psychiatrist (DP) Institution was founded in Israel in 1955 as part of the Mental Health Act, more precisely: The law for the treatment of the mentally ill which remains essentially the same today. The DP is a senior psychiatrist nominated by the State to deal with involuntary admissions within his district. He has, in addition to the previously mentioned functions, numerous other activities which 'are invested' in him and which demand considerable time and effort. This article considers the question whether the DP's authorithy when issuing hospitalization orders is a judicial action rather than a medical one. It is suggested that it is judicial and this function is presented as a paradigm for medical paternalism, originating as it has from 'good intentions'. It is submitted that the DP Institution needs reassessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalMedicine and Law
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989


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