Dilemmas for Clinicians in Use of Community Treatment Orders
Clinicians who treat patients using Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) face many potential dilemmas in their relations with involuntary outpatients and the exercise of their powers. We compare the dilemmas identified in the literature with those reported by responsible clinicians in New Zealand (NZ). These clinicians experienced a number of well-known dilemmas, such as determining the right moment for a person's discharge from a CTO, but they seemed less troubled by some other difficulties than might be expected, usually because they considered involuntary outpatient treatment the best option for the patient or the best way to manage the risks involved. Further dilemmas were identified by the NZ clinicians that have not been widely discussed, concerning the proper scope of clinical authority over patients under CTOs and the decision to revoke involuntary outpatient status. In conclusion, some suggestions are made as to how clinicians might best manage the dilemmas involved.
Keywords: Community Treatment Orders; Clinicians; Mental Health Care
Research Type: Journal Article