Mental health providers should have an understanding of patients’ legal rights as these rights are critical in all stages of treatment and can have implications well after the treatment relationship has ended. Having an understanding of patients’ legal rights is also critical to providing ethically sound services. The term legal rights refers to those rights given to individuals by the legal system. This entry focuses on the laws of the United States. The term patient includes those seeking mental health treatment or assessment services. For simplicity, patient is meant to encompass terms such as client and consumer, which are often used in various clinical settings. Furthermore, this entry does not address forensic services in which the clients are typically legal professionals or the courts. The ...

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