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.
The Right to Treatment - Some Comments on Implementation,
Duq. L. Rev.
Available at: https://dsc.duq.edu/dlr/vol10/iss4/5