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Laws on Mentally Ill Endangers Public Life

The most brutal fact about the Virginia Tech massacre is the fact that there is no law for the forceful treatment of the mentally// ill until he endangers others or his own life. Long standing laws regarding patient’s rights makes it difficult to enforce treatment by the family or authority for the concerned patient.

When a person is physically ill there are various methods of treatment for the disease. But when the patient is mentally ill he is looked down upon by the family and society. The frightening and mystifying aspect of the illness carries a social stigma that is hard to do away. If correct psychiatric care is administered as soon as the illness is deducted many lives could have been saved.

Unwilling or forced treatment of the patient is seen as violation of the civil rights of the patient. But the authority fails to see that upholding the patient’s rights is in a way denying the civil right of the normal people to live in peace without fear.

The details about Seung-Hui Cho's exchanges with the mental-health system more than 2 years ago has brought to fore a major debate about how the state and local authority should intervene in decisions regarding the treatment of the mentally ill before they become a threat to society.

"If there's any one issue that polarizes the mental-health community, it's forced treatment," said Sally Zinman, executive director of the California Network of Mental Health Clients, an advocacy group opposed to imposing treatment on the mentally ill and linking the disease with violence.

It is very rare that these kinds of people seek treatment themselves. It is family members who have to intervene and force treatment. Many a time’s patients seek treatment but refuse medication.

The massacre could have been prevented at the Virginia Tech as many teachers and students knew of Seung-Hui Cho's violent mental status. But the civil rights protecting him they could do no
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