So here’s a brand new, thought-provoking Clinical Problems in Consultation Psychiatry (CPCP) by a hard-working 4th year medical student, Sara Reed, who plans to do her residency in pediatrics. This one involved looking into the evidence-base for studies that would guide us on whether or not involuntary treatment of persons with addictions is any more or less effective than voluntary treatment.
Psychiatric consultants have to reflect on questions like this almost every day. There’s a lot of soul-searching and ethical arguments back and forth on whether seeking court orders for those with addictions can be life-saving or whether this is a serious violation of autonomy that undercuts the principle of beneficence.
There are many angles on this and because of time constraints regarding Sara’s presentation, we didn’t get to do more than touch on the Motivational Interviewing techniques which can be an extremely valuable strategy which helps patients decide for themselves when they’re ready to begin alcohol and drug treatment.
I can anticipate at least a few readers out there who may have strong opinions on this issue and I welcome hearing your thoughts.
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