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Need to keep patients longer

Vol. 7, No. 8 / August 2008

I believe the ridiculously brief inpatient stays and restrictions on available medications are the worst part of psychiatric practice. Reports of patients going berserk fail to note the restrictions placed on physicians in maintaining long-term care.

In New Zealand, inpatient commitment laws—although complex—allow a patient to be involuntarily committed when it is foreseeable that the patient will decompensate without medications or other treatments. This policy permits much better long-term treatment.

Scott A. Joseph, MD
Clinical director
Bemidji Community Behavioral Health Hospital
Bemidji, MN

To comment on articles in this issue or other topics, send letters in care of Erica Vonderheid, Current Psychiatry, 110 Summit Avenue, Montvale, NJ 07645, or click here.

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