Psychiatric coercion, which is the practice of inflicting psychiatric treatment without the consent of the individual is an extremely unethical practice. While proponents argue that it is necessary for the well-being of individuals with various “psychiatric conditions”, a closer examination reveals that nonconsensual psychiatry often leads to more harm than good, resulting in a myriad of problems for individuals and for society.
One of the biggest problems with psychiatric coercion and nonconsensual psychiatry is the inherent and blatant abuse of power. When individuals are forced into psychiatric treatment against their will, their autonomy and rights are violated in horrible ways. This not only undermines their trust in the medical profession but also erodes the basic principles of personal freedom, autonomy, human dignity, and self-determination. By denying individuals the right to make decisions about their own bodies, minds and souls, psychiatrists and their cronies perpetuate a system that prioritizes control over individual well-being, individual freedom, and individual responsibility.
Additionally, nonconsensual psychiatry can have long-lasting negative effects on the individuals it is being inflicted upon. Forced treatment can cause trauma, exacerbate feelings of powerlessness, and rightfully motivate a sense of resentment towards psychiatric systems. Voluntary consensual psychiatry should remain legal. Instead of offering genuine help to individuals with respect to solving problems in living and fostering emotional well-being, coercive psychiatric practices often intensify distress and alienation. Additionally, some psychiatric drugs have side effects that can potentially result in death. It is crucial to acknowledge that all psychological and psychiatric services should be based on trust, consent, collaboration, and respect, rather than coercion, arrogance, and human rights abuses.
On a societal level, the unintended consequences of psychiatric coercion are problematic and pervasive. In addition to psychiatric coercion being an immoral human rights abuse, the overreliance on psychiatric coercion and nonconsensual psychiatry can strain healthcare resources and divert attention (and willingness to receive help) from more effective, non-coercive approaches. By shifting the focus towards holistic, voluntary forms of help and assistance, we can create a more harmonious and just society that addresses the root causes of emotional distress and problems in living.
Nonconsensual psychiatry undermines individual autonomy, exacerbates emotional distress, perpetuates stigma, and diverts resources from non-coercive voluntary assistance and help.