commenting on two classmates discussion on civil commitment to prevent future crimes

I chose oppose the use of civil commitment to prevent future crimes.

Then, post two responses to the discussion thread on the opposing viewpoint. In your responses, be sure to use ethical arguments that support your assigned viewpoint

Classmate # 1 Christina

Although I support the use of civil commitment, I do not think that it should be used as a crime prevention tool. Testa & West explain the ethical implications of civil commitment, “Physicians’ professional responsibilities are derived from the ethical principles of medical practice dating back to the time of Hippocrates. The first and foremost principle of medical ethics is the principle of nonmaleficence—the physician’s duty to “do no harm.” One way that physicians can avoid harming patients is by showing respect for their autonomy (i.e., by allowing patients to make their own decisions regarding whether to accept or reject recommended medical care). Physicians are also bound by a professional obligation to help patients. This duty is prescribed by the ethical principle of beneficence,1,2 which requires that doctors provide to patients services that will benefit them (2010).” Committing someone to an institution, especially involuntarily, can send a person much further over the edge than they already are. People who are committed need around the clock care and medication to subdue the outbursts and otherwise outwardly erratic behaviors often displayed by patients who have psychological disorders. Many times a person may know right from wrong but have no impulse control. There is a difference between an irresistible impulse and an impulse not resisted. People who have irresistible impulses are the ones who may need more psychiatric care. When a person just acts on impulse by choice they are displaying defiant behavior that if need be should be met with consequences through the criminal justice system. To use civil commitment as a form of punishment with eventually lead to an over medicated population that doesn’t need it and could create a whole other host of issues within the jail system. I feel that people who generally get committed to lifelong sentences in a mental hospital or institution actually belong there and could possible thrive in life through the proper interventions.

Classmate # 2 Ryan

In my case to support civil commitments if have found that, “hospitalization is often a critical first step in initiation of psychiatric care. For this reason, involuntary hospitalization, or civil commitment, has been a mainstay of psychiatric care since the inception of the field”. (Testa & West, 2010)

The state plays a big role in civil commitment. There are two main legal principles in the civil commitment process known as “parent of the country” and “police power”. Parent of the country “refers to a doctrine from English common law that assigns to the government a responsibility to intervene on behalf of citizens who cannot act in their own best interest”. (Testa & West, 2010) Police power “requires a state to protect the interests of its citizens”. (Testa & West, 2010) “The state has the right to write statutes for the benefit of society at large, even when providing this benefit may come at the cost of restricting the liberties of certain individuals.” (Testa & West, 2010)

While I don’t think civil commitments work in every scenario they are certainly a great tool for medical providers and the state to utilize in providing services to those in need, or unwilling to obtain help.]=]

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