Background: In his or her practice, a psychiatrist must often deal with patients who refuse treatment. In 1990, Quebec radically changed this situation by introducing a Civil Code provision imposing judicial intervention to treat an individual deemed unfit to consent, against his or her will. This paper presents an assessment and survey of patients and attending psychiatrists who have used this Code provision. Method: Thirty- nine subjects who explicitly refused treatment were brought to court. We asked a subgroup of these patients to be interviewed, using the Drug Attitude Inventory (DAI), the Clinical Global Impression (CGI), and 2 questionnaires specifically considering the court experience of patients and attending psychiatrists. Results: The results of the survey show that patients remember their experience in court as rather uncomfortable. However, the therapeutic alliance remained unchanged, even after the legal procedure. Physicians agreed that patients would not have been clinically well enough to leave the hospital if they had not received the drug regimen resulting from the court decision. The dissociation between the perceptions of patients and physicians is compared with that found in previous studies in the United States. Conclusion: Even with a limited sample, this study addresses a delicate, difficult situation that professionals are increasingly likely to confront. It also proposes further research on alternatives to judicial intervention.
|Translated title of the contribution||Categorical treatment refusal of psychiatric patients: Assessment, study and perspective|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Psychiatry|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health