Removal of patient

The patient files I’ve researched show many occasions of patients being taken out of the hospital – against the doctor’s explicit advice. The person asking for the patient’s removal would take full responsibility for them and their behaviour in the community. Many patients returned (or were returned) to the hospital after only a short period of time. Do you think families are right to take a patient out of care against a doctor’s wishes?


Throughout the documents I have researched for this website, the patient’s family features prominently – not only in the admission and discharge procedures, but particularly while patients were hospitalised. Families wanted to be actively involved in a patient’s treatment rather than passively watching from the outside. While psychiatry nowadays recognises the role of the family in mental illness, such ‘interference’ was not always welcome by the Medical Superintendent in earlier decades. If your family member was mentally ill, would you want to be involved in their treatment? To what degree?


Many patients hospitalised in the DCLA (and also their families) experienced a high degree of stigmatisation (for example being avoided by their neighbours and colleagues at work, etc.) owing to the mental illness in their family. Do you think people’s attitudes towards mental disorders have changed more recently? If so, why?


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