Developments in Mental Health Law

Articles from Vol. 8, No. 2, July-December

A Difficult Balance: Considering a New Commitment Law for Minors
Present Virginia law treats minors and adults identically when the question is one of psychiatric hospitalization. While the law itself may not differentiate by age, recently gathered data suggest that hospitals do, in fact, alter psychiatric admissions...
Alcoholism Considered "Willful Misconduct": Veterans Lose Suit for Extension of Educational Benefits
Traynor v. Turnage and McKelvey v. Turnage, --U.S.--, 56 U.S.L.W. 4319 (April 20, 1988) A closely divided United States Supreme Court upheld a Veterans Administration regulation which classifies primary alcoholism as "willful misconduct." Both the...
Involuntary Servitude Considered
United States v. Kozminski,--U.S.--, 56 U.S.L.W. 4910 (June 28, 1988) In considering whether defendants were subject to criminal prosecution for violating the thirteenth amendment rights against involuntary servitude of two mentally retarded men...
Involuntary Treatment of Prisoners
Two new statutes affecting the treatment of mentally disabled prisoners in the custody of the state Department of Corrections were enacted this year. The General Assembly modelled each of these new measures on existing laws. Section 53.1-40.1 differs...
Legality of Religious Use of Peyote Questioned
Oregon Dept. of Human Resources v. Smith, --U.S.--, 56 U.S.L.W. 4357 (April 26, 1988) In a five-to-three decision delivered by Justice Stevens, the Supreme Court refused to uphold a decision by the Oregon Supreme Court that the denial of unemployment...
No Money Damages for Improper Denial of Social Security Benefits
Schweiker v. Chilicky,--U.S.--, 56 U.S.L.W. 4767 (June 24, 1988) In 1980 Congress enacted legislation requiring that most Social Security Act disability determinations be reviewed once every three years. Under the "continuing disability review"...
Out-of-Court Identification Allowed
United States v. Owens,--U.S.--, 56 U.S.L.W. 4160 (Feb. 23, 1988) In a six-to-two decision the Court held that neither the confrontation clause of the sixth amendment nor Rule 802 of the Federal Rules of Evidence is violated by the admission of...
Peer-Review System Subject to Federal Antitrust Laws
Patrick v. Burget et al.,--U.S.--, 56 U.S.L.W. 4430 (May 17, 1988) In a unanimous opinion the United States Supreme Court held that the "state-action" doctrine does not immunize Oregon physicians participating on hospital peer-review committees...
Prison Physician Acted under Color of State Law
West v. Atkins,--U.S.--, 56 U.S.L.W. 4664 (June 21, 1988) In a unanimous opinion the Supreme Court held that a private physician under contract to provide orthopedic services at a state prison hospital on a part-time basis is acting under color...
Psychiatric Testimony Not Harmless Error
Satterwhite v. Texas,--U.S.--, 56 U.S.L.W. 4470 (May 31, 1988) John Satterwhite was charged with and indicted for the capital crime of murder during a robbery in Texas. Satterwhite was subjected to pretrial examinations by psychologists and psychiatrists...
Reevaluating the Lie Detector Test
A woman applies for a job with a county police department and is told she must take a polygraph test to be considered. During the testing she is asked the following questions: Have you ever had an affair? Have you ever participated in an orgy? Have...
The Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980: A Guide for Clinicians
Because of the potential impact of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) on conditions in state mental health and mental retardation facilities, many clinicians are curious about the provisions of the law and the way in which the...
Use of Screen in Child Abuse Prosecution Violates Confrontation Clause
Coy v. Iowa,--U.S.--, 56 U.S.L.W. 4931 (June 29, 1988) John Avery Coy was charged with sexually assaulting two thirteen-year-old girls. At his trial the state made a request pursuant to a recently enacted Iowa statute asking to allow the children...
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