Competence, Condemnation, and Commitment: An Integrated Theory of Mental Health Law

Pages: 291
Item #: 431653A
ISBN: 978-1-55798-745-7
List Price: $49.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $39.95
Copyright: 2001
Format: Hardcover
Note: This book is out of print and no longer available for purchase.
Central institutions of mental health rarely provide a clear conception of mental health or a clear justification for the differential treatment given to those with mental illness. This book creates a bold new framework for examining the major intersections between legal institutions and the idea of mental illness. Efforts to reconcile involuntary commitment with the right to refuse treatment are reviewed along with a compelling case for requiring as a prerequisite to commitment, a determination of decisional incompetence.
Table of Contents



I. Mental Illness and Legal Intervention

  1. Sexual Predator Statutes and the Fragmented Structure of Mental Health Law
  2. The Supreme Court on Civil Commitment
  3. Legally Significant Mental Illness

II. Parens Patriae Intervention

  1. Normative Structure I
  2. Incompetence and Commitment
  3. The Right to Refuse Care

III. Police Power Intervention

  1. Normative Structure II: The Police Power
  2. Sexual Predator Statutes and the Police Power
  3. The Right to Refuse Care Under the Police Power

IV. Professional Roles, Professional Judgment, and Legal Determinations

  1. Risk and Dangerousness
  2. Expert Testimony and Commitment as a Sexual Predator
  3. Professional Judgment and Responsibilities: Intrinsic and Delegated
  4. The Fragmented Structure of Mental Health Law Revisited

Table of Authority

Author Index

Subject Index

About the Author

Author Bio

Robert F. Schopp completed a PhD in psychology and practiced clinical psychology for approximately 10 years, during which he encountered a variety of clinical circumstances that raised perplexing legal and moral questions. These circumstances involved, for example, criminal competence and responsibility, civil competence and commitment, involuntary treatment, treatment using aversive stimuli, and the management or release of individuals who had demonstrated a pattern of violent or suicidal behavior. These individuals and circumstances raised questions regarding the limits of clinical competence and responsibility, the clinician's responsibilities to the individual and the community, the relationship between the criminal justice and mental health systems, and the relationships among the clinician's legal and moral responsibilities as a clinician and as a person.

Dr. Schopp turned to the study of moral philosophy and law in an attempt to understand more clearly some of these questions. After completing a JD and a PhD in philosophy, he joined the faculty of the College of Law and the Department of Psychology at the University of Nebraska, where he teaches and writes as a member of the Law–Psychology program. His teaching and scholarship tend to focus on questions that arise at the intersection of law, psychology, and moral philosophy. These questions often occur in the fields of mental health law, criminal law, jurisprudence, and professional ethics. His prior books include Automatism, Insanity, and the Psychology of Criminal Responsibility (1991) and Justification Defenses and Just Convictions (1998).