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Perspective ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00783

Compulsory interventions are challenging the identity of psychiatry

  • 1Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Psychosomatik, Psychiatrische Klinik der Universität Zürich, Switzerland

Compulsory interventions severely restrict constitutional rights of the patients. They are exceptional measures only to be considered under strict and clearly defined ethical and juridical conditions. They do confront mental health professionals with difficult questions challenging their individual professional identity as well as the identity of psychiatry in general. This complex field is discussed in reference to the conceptual history of psychiatry, to different contemporary approaches to the notion of autonomy and to three ethically demanding issues: autonomy and care, psychiatry and society, personhood and interpersonal relations. Engaging open-mindedly in these debates may be cumbersome for psychiatry, but will yield a substantial return, particularly regarding its identity and acceptance by society.

Keywords: autonomy, professional identity, Identity of psychiatry, Ethics in psychiatry, Compulsory interventions

Received: 27 Jun 2019; Accepted: 01 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Hoff. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Paul Hoff, Psychiatrische Klinik der Universität Zürich, Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Psychosomatik, Zurich, Switzerland, paul.hoff@puk.zh.ch