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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 21 (1979) 1, 654 - 660

Korte bijdrage

Wat is erger: ten onrechte opnemen of ten onrechte niet opnemen?

R.E. Offerhaus

R. E. Offerhaus: The dilemma in hospitalisation: risking too many intakes or a calamity at home.
In this article a discussion is held about the question: is unjustified hospitalisation in a psychiatric center a greater wrong compared with a failure to hospitalise a person in need of clinical psychiatric care.
This seemingly absurd dilemma finds its origin in the present unability of community psychiatric services to judge adequately the need for clinical treatment.
The author arques that firstly the instrumental facilities for a sound and save decision process have to be created.
Secondly in his opinion now and in the future the old adagium 'in dubio abstinae' should be kept, meaning no hospitalisation unless clear and unambigious indications are presented. In his view hospitalisation, especially when compulsary, is a very severe intervention and should be strongly argumented.