Duquesne Law Review


Morton Birnbaum


In May, 1960, an editorial in the American Bar Association Journal condemned the understaffing and overcrowding that existed in our public mental hospitals as "a wrong which demands correction." Emphasizing that a legal precedent could work wonders, it strongly advocated the recognition and implementation of the constitutional right of an involuntary civilly committed patient in a public mental hospital to adequate care and treatment. For convenience, this right was called the right to treatment. Although our society undoubtedly recognized a moral right to treatment, our law had not recognized this legal right.

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