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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 38 (1996) 3, 251 - 262

New research

Standards and limits in psychiatric treatment: the impact of legal interventions

J. Legemaate

Recently new legislation has come into force, including the Act on formal admissions to psychiatric hospitals and the Act on patients' rights. This legislation contains standards that influence the therapeutic process between patient and therapist. Therapists and their organizations have criticized the rigidity of this legislation. The legislation is analyzed in the light of the objectives of legal interventions. It is concluded that in general both Acts can be judged positively. However, some of the provisions included in these Acts may result in negative effects, unjustly hindering the therapeutic relationship. It is argued that these issues require the attention of and collaboration between lawyers and therapists.