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Ulysses' crew or Circe? – the implications of advance directives in mental health for psychiatrists

  • Jacqueline M. Atkinson (a1)
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Advance directives in mental health care are currently attracting interest, although there is some anxiety that they can restrict clinical freedom. The so-called ‘Ulysses contract’ is a form of opt-in to services that has been suggested in the USA. Psychiatrists might thus consider themselves to be the equivalent of Ulysses' crew in being bound by the contract. This paper suggests, in some cases, that they might function more as Circe, who suggested the directions to Ulysses, and considers this in the light of contemporary relationships between psychiatrists and patients.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Dresser, R. (1982) Ulysses and the psychiatrists: a legal and policy analysis of the voluntary commitment contract. Harvard Civil Rights – Civil Liberties Law Review, 16, 833835.
Dresser, R. (1984) Bound to treatment: the Ulysses contract. Hastings Centre Report, 14, 1316.
Halpern, A. & Szmuckler, G. (1997) Psychiatric advance directives: reconciling autonomy and nonconsensual treatment. Psychiatric Bulletin, 21, 323327.
Homer, (2003) The Odyssey (translated by Rieu, V.) London: Penguin.
Papageorgiou, A., King, M., Janmohamed, A., et al (2002) Advance directives for patients with serious mental illness: a randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 181, 513519.
Scottish Parliament (2002a) Health and Community Care Committee Official Report Wednesday 30th October 2002. Edinbugh: Scottish Parliament.
Scottish Parliament (2002b) Health and Community Care Committee Official Report Wednesday 9th October 2002. Edinburgh: Scottish Parliament.
Winston, M., Winston, S., Appelbaum, P., et al (1982) Can a subject consent to a Ulysses contract? Hastings Centre Report, 12, 2628.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Ulysses' crew or Circe? – the implications of advance directives in mental health for psychiatrists

  • Jacqueline M. Atkinson (a1)
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