Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)


Opposites playing the same game ?

by Federico Soldani

What is the very last thing a patient forced to be admitted to hospital for mental health cannot legally be forced into?

According to different legal contexts, with significant national and state variations, as a last resort, a patient can be forced to hospitalization itself, for observation or treatment.

If necessary, physical treatment for mental health can also become compulsory: medication or, more rarely, procedures such as electro-convulsive treatment.

However, patients cannot be forced to open up against their will, or to “confess”, to use a Foucaultian term in a clinical context [1].

Even less so, no one can be legally forced to engage in psychotherapy. In the end, such decisions related to opening up remain a prerogative of each and every patient, no matter under what circumstances.

Patient collaboration can be achieved indirectly, perhaps more easily in a forensic context…

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