Mental Health Advance Directives: Having One's Say

28 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2014

See all articles by Justine A. Dunlap

Justine A. Dunlap

University of Massachusetts School of Law

Date Written: June 17, 2014


First, this Article traces the extension of the right to refuse treatment to the psychiatric realm. Next, the Article addresses advance directives for health care and their utility for mental health issues. Then, the Article examines state statutory and judicial responses to mental health advance directives. Finally, the Article analyzes why the right to control future psychiatric treatment, including the right to refuse treatment, has been slow to gain acceptance. Although mental health advance directives present real challenges, legally and otherwise, this Article concludes that they are firmly rooted in the law and their rejection is, more often than not, based on illegitimate grounds.

Keywords: Health law

Suggested Citation

Dunlap, Justine A., Mental Health Advance Directives: Having One's Say (June 17, 2014). Kentucky Law Journal, Vol. 89, 2000-2001, Available at SSRN: or

Justine A. Dunlap (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts School of Law ( email )

333 Faunce Corner Rd
N. Dartmouth, MA 02747
United States
508.985.1158 (Phone)
508.985.1115 (Fax)

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