Borea logo
Borea logo

Party or Patient?

Discursive Practices Relating to Coercion in Psychiatric and Legal Settings


Stefan Sjöström

Band: Kartonnage
Omfång: 360 sidor
ISBN: 91-972690-4-2 (slutsåld)

Compulsory psychiatric care involves a variety of intricate ethical and practical considerations. What are the potential benefits of coercive intervention? How large are the costs of disregarding the stated opinion of a patient? To what extent should the interests of relatives, neighbours and others be taken into account?

Drawing on observations from unique ethnographic fieldwork, Stefan Sjöström tells a story of how psychiatric staff in everyday activities make decisions about involuntary admission, medication and restraints. The author then turns to the court hearings which are required by a new law; The Compulsory Psychiatric Care Act (LPT).

The differences in tasks and tradition between medical and legal institutions give rise to an expectation that the legal evaluation of psychiatric decision-making is problematic. How do chief psychiatrists strike a balance between the contrasting roles of helper and prosecutor? How does an attorney represent a client whom she finds to be incapable of making rational decisions? How can judges and attorneys make sense of the complex expert evaluations which are based on concrete clinical practice?

The relevance of this book goes beyond the Swedish context, since there are considerable similarities between Western countries concerning both compulsory care legislation and psychiatric practice.