Mental Health Law

This seminar will examine discrimination, ethical issues, public policy, and comparative law related to individuals who have mental health or intellectual disabilities. The seminar will begin by introducing the concepts of "disability" and "mental illness" and the application of various theories of justice to individuals who are considered to have "mental health disabilities" or "intellectual disabilities." We will then review statutes that prohibit disability discrimination in five specific areas: employment, public benefits, education, housing, and voting. The seminar will then cover topics that are central to mental health law, including: substitute decision-making, the right to treatment, the right to refuse treatment, civil commitment, sterilization, selective abortion, euthanasia, criminal law, and institutionalization. Although the focus of the seminar is on law and public policy in the United States, we will regularly examine relevant international and comparative law.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:
Letter Grade Paper - can be used for Additional ULWR or Substantial ULWR.