Danger of social breakdown: 'compulsory admission, but not treatment?' A case study
Compulsory treatment is permitted (article 38 paragraph 5 Bopz (the Act on Special Admissions to Psychiatric Hospitals in the Netherlands)) if this is necessary for preventing danger to the patient or other persons and if this danger arises from impairment of the patient's mental functioning. Two patients are described in which compulsory drug treatment was considered on the grounds that the patients were in danger of social breakdown if they remained without hope or perspectives in a psychiatric hospital. The court ruled that that danger was insufficient to justify compulsory drug treatment. The authors are of the opinion that a stay in hospital with no hope or perspectives constitutes social breakdown and that the compulsory drug treatment should be applied.