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History of Ethical Treatment of Mental Health Patients

Society’s response to those with mental health disorders typically ranges from punishment to assistance, historically to the present day. Historically, the treatment of individuals with mental health disorders has involved medical practitioners, religious practitioners, government officials, and friends and family. Ethical treatment of individuals with mental health disorders reflects the different values of each of these groups at particular points in history. Using contemporary Western values as a guide, one could argue that the treatment of those with mental health disorders has, over time, become more humane as the combination of medication and psychotherapeutic intervention has replaced treatments that contemporary Western society now deems unethical, such as prefrontal lobotomy.

In describing the evolution of treatment for those with mental health disorders, one should understand that ...

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