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Unpublished Paper
Empower People with Mental Illness through Ulysses Arrangements
ExpressO (2013)
  • Judy A. Clausen, Professor, Florida Coastal School of Law

Acute episodes of mental illness often prevent people from realizing they are sick and cause them to refuse intervention. Once a person refuses treatment, the only way she can obtain care is as an involuntary patient. By the time a person's behavior meets the strict criteria to warrant involuntary hospitalization, devastation has often already occurred. This Article argues that a person should have the right to enter a Ulysses arrangement, a special type of mental health advance directive, through which a person authorizes a doctor to administer treatment during a future episode even if the episode induces the person to refuse care. The Uniform Law Commissioners enacted the Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act as a model statute to address all types of advance health care planning, including planning for mental illness. However, the Act focuses on end-of-life care and fails to address many issues faced by people with mental illness. Most importantly, the Act prevents people from entering Ulysses arrangements. This Article recommends the Uniform Law Commissioners adopt a model mental health advance directive statute that includes authority to enter a Ulysses arrangement. Appendix A sets forth model statutory provisions.

  • mental illness; advance directive; informed consent
Publication Date
March 7, 2013
Citation Information
Judy A. Clausen. "Empower People with Mental Illness through Ulysses Arrangements" ExpressO (2013)
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