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The Conflict Between Advocacy and "Best Interests" for Individuals in Psychiatric Institutions

By Dari Pogach

Mental health professionals working in psychiatric institutions and lawyers representing the individuals who live in those institutions both want to help patients live the best lives possible. Because they use such different approaches to working with clients with diminished decision-making capacity, however, mental health professionals and lawyers often disagree about many aspects of patients’ treatment. Understanding why mental health professionals and lawyers approach individuals in psychiatric institutions from such different perspectives can help legal services lawyers attain better outcomes for clients with mental illness.

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