Are lawyers enemies of psychiatrists? A survey of civil commitment counsel and judges

Am J Psychiatry. 1983 Mar;140(3):323-6. doi: 10.1176/ajp.140.3.323.


The author surveyed 101 attorneys and judges involved in civil commitment procedures to answer the question of how they view psychiatrists, mental hospitals, and the mentally ill. She found that these lawyers and judges tended to view psychiatrists in favorable terms, that their attitudes toward mental hospitals reflected their perception of the weaknesses of these hospitals and their view of hospitalization as a last resort, and that they tended to reject negative statements about the mentally ill. She discusses the effect of these attitudes on the behavior of lawyers and judges toward psychiatrists and the mentally ill in civil commitment hearings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Attitude*
  • Commitment of Mentally Ill*
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Jurisprudence*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mentally Ill Persons*
  • North Carolina
  • Psychiatry*