Mental Health Inpatient Facilities

In the age of surveillance and with the ease and accessibility of electronic medical records, serious privacy concerns arise for persons with mental illness who are psychiatrically hospitalized. Although in the United States there are fewer people who are institutionalized in psychiatric hospitals since the deinstitutionalization movement began in the 1950s, the treatment of persons with mental illness in inpatient facilities still raises constitutional and ethical issues. Inpatient facility medical records often incorporate records from past psychiatric hospitalizations, outpatient treatment providers, family members, and correctional facilities. When a person challenges his or her inpatient hospitalization, these medical records then become part of the court proceeding. The right to privacy is especially important for persons with mental illness because of the stigma and shame that ...

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