Moncrieff & Smyth (1999, this issue) are certainly right that community treatment orders (CTOs) are high on the agenda and that psychiatrists need to think long and hard about them – about the political and ethical implications, not just their practical and therapeutic applications. Their concerns are important and reflect a wide constituency – identical views were expressed and considered during the consultation that preceded the College's document proposing a Community Supervision Order in 1993 (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1993). Moncrieff & Smyth make no mention of that document, nor the limited, but recent, survey of psychiatrists' opinions that accompanied it (Burns et al, 1993). Do all College documents achieve obscurity quite so quickly?
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