Psychiatrists generally are aware that there is not necessarily any relation between competency and hospitalization for mental illness. The consensus seems to be that these two things should be considered entirely separately. Many patients may need mental hospital care, without having suffered any impairment of their competency. My personal estimate is that 75% of all patients admitted to the average mental hospital could be considered to be competent. Also, it is well to keep in mind that an individual may require a guardian because of incompetency due to a mental disorder, but not require hospitalization in a mental hospital. Unfortunately, this distinction is not readily recognized by many attorneys and courts. It is also sometimes forgotten by psychiatrists. There are many factors which tend to foster the impression that hospitalization in a mental hospital is equivalent to loss of competency. This paper is being written to bring attention to the problem and to plead for corrective action.
Ewing H. Crawfis, Mental Competency and Mental Hospitals, 6 Clev.-Marshall L. Rev. 454 (1957)