Ashford University Psychiatric Treatment & Patients Mental Health Rights Discussion


Round 1: First Rebuttal (Posted by 6/10) – After each group member has posted their arguments, you must then attempt to rebut at least two arguments that take an opposite view to yours. (So if you argued in the affirmative, you must rebut two negative positions). The computer will randomly assign your rebuttals. Your rebuttal must be founded in at least one reference in the course literature or other literature you wish to introduce to support your position. *

Against forced treatment

Forced psychiatric treatment disregards the patients’ mental health rights. Patients have the right to refuse treatment (Huffpost, 2017). Mental health treatment is a sensitive treatment. The medications provided in this treatment pose serious risks to a person’s health. In this regard, a person’s dignity should be respected (Fok et al., 2014). This respect should be demonstrated by allowing the people to make decisions concerning their mental health treatment. Even if the treatment is in the best interest of an individual, it should not be done against his or her wishes. Compulsory treatment violates the individual’s right. It puts the patients into further agony (Scott, 2013). Hence, it should be avoided. The decision to get psychiatric treatment should be impartial.

Moreover, Having a mental health condition does not make a person less human. In this regard, people should be allowed to continue doing what they love, enjoy and dream of. Thus, these people need dignified treatment. The mental health rights of all individuals are protected (Gill, 2019). Nonetheless, the mentally ill people in the U.S. have been subject to abuse and discrimination. America has had a long history of treating people with mental health conditions in disdain. These people have been subject to forced sterilization. In light of this, the mental health hospitals in the U.S. are overcrowded (Scott, 2013). Certainly, people will continue having mental health conditions in America. If mental health rights are not respected, these people are bound to experience suffering and discrimination.


Although many people believe that persons with mental illnesses should be forced to receive treatment for the safety of others, the United States government should allowance all persons with mental illnesses to be able to make their own decisions regarding treatment because forcing mentally ill individuals to receive treatment is a form of prejudice and discrimination. The historical laws that supported the mandatory psychiatric treatment were founded in statutes that allowed the opening of asylums and deprived the mental health community of their rights and freedoms. Historically, the mentally ill have been subjected to inhumane conditions. For instance, the law supported the performance of experiments to help find a solution for the mentally ill. However, this not only proved ineffective but scarred the mentally ill for life. Subjecting them to involuntary treatment not only discriminates against their rights but also prejudices them as a community. It leads to the establishment of stereotypes that further the narrative of the mentally ill as dangerous.

In addition, there is a significantly low correlation between crime and people with mental health issues. For instance, there is no association between gun violence and mental health issues. However, people still insist on blaming this on a medical condition. Thus, mental health treatment should be voluntary rather than involuntary. In most people’s perceptions, mental illness is directly associated with violence. Much of the stigma associated with mental illness is due to the perception that mental illness influences crime. This view is further exemplified by the media linking violent crimes with mental health illnesses. This disregards the fact that most violent crimes are committed by people without mental health illnesses. This bias contributes to the stigma and involuntary treatment subjected to victims of mental health illnesses. In essence, mental health conditions contribute insignificantly to crime and violence in society and should not be used as an excuse to forcefully provide treatment for victims of mental health illnesses.