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(1977). The Journal of Psychiatry and Law. IV, 1976: The Sign-Out Letter: Civil Right and/or Therapeutic Issue. H. Clay Mallard and Eugene B. Feigelson. Pp. 265-276.. Psychoanal Q., 46:719.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Journal of Psychiatry and Law. IV, 1976: The Sign-Out Letter: Civil Right and/or Therapeutic Issue. H. Clay Mallard and Eugene B. Feigelson. Pp. 265-276.

(1977). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 46:719

The Journal of Psychiatry and Law. IV, 1976: The Sign-Out Letter: Civil Right and/or Therapeutic Issue. H. Clay Mallard and Eugene B. Feigelson. Pp. 265-276.

Sixteen consecutive hospitalized psychiatric patients who submitted "sign-out letters" were examined by an impartial psychiatrist in an attempt to discern the motivation for the sign-out letter. [Sign-out letters are requests for discharge against medical advice, as permitted by the Mental Hygiene Law of New York State as of January 1973.] In addition, the treating physicians and staff were also examined by the same impartial observer. The authors found that the use of the sign-out letter was determined more by unidentified and unresolved therapeutic issues than by primary concerns with civil rights. On the other hand, the sign-out letter can clearly be viewed as a statement of civil rights if the civil rights issue is understood to refer to a patient's right to refuse treatment if he or she feels the treatment is inadequate or injurious. A therapeutic approach to problems posed by the sign-out letters is suggested.

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Article Citation

(1977). The Journal of Psychiatry and Law. IV, 1976. Psychoanal. Q., 46:719

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