People with Mental Illness Can Make Psychiatric Advance Directives. We Need to Encourage Them to Do So

February 23, 2018

(STAT News) – Legally, we couldn’t force treatment until he was in danger of hurting himself. It was frustrating. Our patient, in the midst of a mental health crisis, had to develop a physical health crisis for us to do anything. It didn’t have to be that way. A psychiatric advance directive could have helped us treat this man. As I move forward in my career, I’m realizing that I’ll need to encourage my patients with serious mental illnesses to express their wishes when they are at their best, so we can better assist them at their worst.

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