The rights of americans with mental illness

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2011 Aug;199(8):578-84. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318225f330.


This contribution to the literature starts by summarizing the history of psychiatric services in America from the time of our colonization to the present. It then discusses the Bill of Rights and the subsequent "rights" gained by the mentally ill, largely through state legislative or legal actions. Finally, it concludes with a discussion of how the entire area of rights has been swept up in a larger attempt to achieve a federal Bill of Patients' Rights and then a Health Reform Act in 2010.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Commitment of Mentally Ill / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Human Rights / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders
  • Mental Health Services / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Mentally Ill Persons / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Patient Advocacy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Patient Rights / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • United States