Enforced Psychiatric Treatment of Minors in Israel: The Interface Between the Mental Health Act and the Youth Law
Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences. 1995; 32(2): 114-119.
Proposed changes in the current Youth Law will provide enforced psychiatric treatment, including civil commitment, for "at risk" minors. Such minors are considered at significant risk of future developmental damage without such treatment. The potential exists for a clash between the proposed criteria for enforced psychiatric treatment in the Youth Law and the existing criteria in the current Mental Health Act: "need for treatment" in the former versus "immediate and physical danger to self or others as a result of psychotic illness" in the latter. Proposed changes in the Mental Health Act include broadening the criteria for enforced psychiatric treatment of minors. The revised criteria would include non-psychotic emotional disorders (such as recurrent suicidal behavior) which endanger the minor's physical and emotional development. These changes are welcomed. The authors suggest the adoption of "need for treatment" criteria, as against the current "physical danger to self or others" criteria for enforced psychiatric treatment of minors.
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