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The Sanders Firm, P.C.: SDP and Treatment of Mental Patients

The Sanders Firm, P.C. in New York, which is focused on preserving your civil rights in connection to subsequent due process, offers information regarding the treatment of mental patients and patient rights. The rights of those who are mentally ill are important and have been delineated in many rulings by state and federal courts. For a long time, mental illness was misunderstood and often those who were deemed mentally ill were denied their civil rights through laws and actions that violated substantive due process. In the past 40 to 50 years, the courts have upheld the liberties and civil rights of those who are mentally ill.

O’Connor v. Donaldson

In terms of the treatment of mental illness and SDP, O’Connor v. Donaldson, 422 U.S. 563 (1975) is an important case. The case involved a mentally ill plaintiff who had been confined for 15 years without treatment. The Court ruled that states could not confine someone who is not deemed to be a danger to others or to him/herself. Mentally ill patients have constitutional rights that are protected by the Fifth Amendment and upheld by the Fourteenth Amendment. Overall, in concerns involving the treatment of the mentally ill, those who may be confined are those who are a “danger to self or others” or “gravely disabled.” And no matter what the case may be, SDP must be adhered to in any case involving the mentally ill.

Intervention and SDP

At the Sanders Firm, P.C., we understand that in the treatment of mental patients there is a delicate balance between a patient’s rights and their welfare and the welfare of others. There are times when in the treatment of the mentally ill that after determining someone is a danger to themselves or others or are disabled in a manner that makes them unable to function that intervention on the part of the state or local authorities is necessary. As we do with other civil rights complaints, the Sanders Firm, P.C. carefully weighs aspect of one’s case, before determining what may be the best course of action or the choices available to the individual.

What makes SDP involving the treatment of mental patients especially complex is the fact that states usually don’t specifically define terms such as “gravely disabled” or “a danger to himself or others,” which have been noted by the Court. These terms and how one determines if a mentally ill patient meets certain criteria varies and leaves many questions open when we consider the rights of those who are mentally ill in accordance with SDP.

Preserving Your Rights

The civil rights lawyers at the Sanders Firm, P.C. are devoted to working to make sure that in the treatment of mental patients that SDP rights are preserved and liberties are upheld. If you believe your civil rights in regards to this issue have been infringed upon in some way, contact the Sanders Firm, P.C. For those in the New York City area we are your voice for justice.