Robert L. Tuma


Mental illness is principally a medical problem, but there are basic legal considerations to be observed, and these considerations should not be impatiently brushed aside as "mere technicalities" of legal procedure. On the other hand, legal provisions relating to hospitalization of mental patients should be viewed by legislators, lawyers, and judicial officials as mechanism for prompt and effective care and treatment, for safeguarding civil rights, and for protecting the community. All these aspects are important and undue concern for one aspect should not work to the detriment of the others. Moreover, in actual practice, no legal provision should defeat the purpose for which it was intended.