What your rights as a medical patient, of ANY sort, should be:


Patient Rights


  1. To participate in developing an individual plan of treatment

  2. To receive an explanation of services in accordance with the treatment plan
  3. To participate voluntarily in and to consent to treatment
  4. To object to or terminate treatment
  5. To have records protected by confidentiality and not be revealed to anyone without written authorization
  6. To have access to one's records
  7. To receive CLINICALLY APPROPRIATE CARE and treatment SUITED TO ONE'S NEEDS and skillfully, safely and humanely administered with full respect for the patient's personal integrity and dignity
  8. To be treated in a manner which is ethical and free from abuse, discrimination, mistreatment and/or exploitation
  9. To be treated by staff sensitive to one's cultural background
  10. To be afforded privacy
  11. To be free to report grievances regarding services or staff to a supervisor
  13. To weigh the risks and benefits of treatments and receive safer alternatives to treatments with debilitating effects
  14. To request a change in therapist
  15. To request second opinion of treatment plan by another clinician of one's choice


The source is Dr. John Grohol's Mental Health Page. The information was extracted by Grohol from a pamphlet given to patients upon their first visit to a therapist. Provision of such a handout to all patients should be made mandatory.

Just as "mental illness is an illness like any other illness", a statement with which I do not personally agree, it follows from there that a psychiatric patient should be viewed as a true patient with the same rights accorded to any other.

I consider the keeping of any person behind a locked door wherefrom he or she is not able to freely leave a form of punitive incarceration, not health care. Such a person ceases to be a real patient, though psychiatry may yet call him so. Involuntary treatment is NOT treatment. Medicine does not rightly belong in the province of enforcing conduct codes, written or unwritten.

"Disorders" for which there is no biological etiology established are not likely to benefit from biological treatments, whether wanted or forced. This is about all psychiatry has to offer, and most of what is called mental illness has NOT been proven to result from a "chemical imbalance" or genetic defect.

An In-Depth Study of the issues around human rights in Psychiatry by journalist and survivor of forced treatment,
Juli Lawrence.


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