Editorial – ‘The use of community treatment orders in competent patients is not justified’

An editorial published in the British Journal of Psychiatry addresses the intersecting issues of human rights, discrimination and community treatment orders.

The editorial was written by Giles Newton-Howes who is a senior lecturer at the University of Otago in Wellington and consultant psychiatrist and clinical leader, community, at Te-Upoko-me-te-Whatu-o-Te-Ika (the 3DHB mental health directorate), and Chris Ryan who is a clinical associate professor and consultation–liaison psychiatrist at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital.

The editorial concludes that “use of these orders to force community treatment upon individuals who competently refuse treatment can no longer be justified and should immediately stop.”

You can read the full editorial here.

G N-H BJPsych Editorial heading
The header of the editorial showing its title, a summary, declaration of interest and a photograph of one of the author’s Giles Newton-Howes.

3 thoughts on “Editorial – ‘The use of community treatment orders in competent patients is not justified’

  1. Be careful what you wish for. Using a competency test (especially one that hinges on ‘insight’ into illness) may mean more people are put under orders and sooner than using the current danger criteria.


  2. The ascertaining of an accurate Mental Health diagnosis is often not competently completed. As illustrations of unusual type cognitive reactions is regularly and often not clearly understood. The DSM model can be flawed as there is minimal outlined knowledge that clearly explains very important and relevant details in identifying in what could be described as unusual type behavior being a natural (and ongoing) phenomenon for many folk. The WHO has continually expressed concerns over several aspects of this very important topic.


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