July 22, 2020 | New York Post

Kanye West needs help, but mental-health laws make it tough to intervene

The barriers to involuntary treatment — put in place in response to centuries of outrageous abuses done in the name of psychiatric care — are so high that most states require that the person must be an imminent threat to oneself or others to enforce treatment. Doesn’t matter it you’re deeply ill — if you aren’t dangerous, you have the choice to refuse care.

“What if a doctor found an aneurism in your loved ones’ aorta? Would you wait until it burst to intervene? No. You’d get them to a hospital and fix it as fast as possible. We should be thinking about these issues in the same way,” said University of Pennsylvania medical ethicist Dominic Sisti.

Sisti and others believe that states should look at reforming the standards of civil commitment laws, to allow families to intervene and hospitalize a person before they hit a crisis point. A focus on prevention — as well as destigmatizing hospitalization and treatment — could get people help early.

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