Grave disability is a generic legal standard that allows for involuntary civil commitment (ICC) and/or outpatient commitment (OC) of persons who have a mental health disorder (and additionally in some states, alcohol or drug addiction) that interferes with their ability to provide for their welfare or safety. It is the so-called third standard for commitment (after danger to self and danger to others) and began to be added to state ICC statutes in the 1970s. As of this writing, ICC statutes in all but four states and the District of Columbia have some sort of grave disability provision, although the actual words “grave disability” are usually not used. Even more OC statutes contain such a provision. A state’s use of grave disability may flow from ...

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