Giving Asylum? The Ethics of Long-Term, Structured Care for People with Severe, Refractory Mental Illness
There are hundreds of thousands of individuals in the US who have serious mental illness. Most of these individuals thrive in the community, but there remains a population who do not. Because the number of long-term psychiatric hospital beds has largely evaporated over the past 50 years, they often cycle between homelessness, acute care, and prison. Of the 2.5 million individuals incarcerated in the US, close to 20% are diagnosed with a serious mental illness. How did we get to this point? How can we correct what has become a moral stain on our society? In this talk, Dr. Sisti will argue that we need to seriously consider the reestablishment of psychiatric hospitals to provide long term care. Dr. Sisti refers not the kinds of institutions that shocked our moral sensibilities in the 1960s and 1970s, but to ones that may serve to help individuals overcome crisis or manage chronic conditions and begin or continue a life in recovery. In the parlance of the early reformers of mental health care, “asylums” were originally established to serve this purpose—they were meant to be a place of sanctuary, safety, and healing. Today we may refer to them as recovery centers or structured care settings. They offer an ethically preferable option to the current and rather disturbing state of affairs, and we need more of them.
Join us for Dominic Sisti’s lecture on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 from noon till 1 pm in person or online.
Dominic A. Sisti, PhD is director of the Scattergood Program for the Applied Ethics of Behavioral Healthcare and assistant professor in the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry. Sisti’s current research examines the ethical and philosophical dimensions of the concept of mental disorder, with a particular focus on personality disorders. He has written, taught, and presented papers on issues related to the philosophy and ethics of behavioral healthcare, clinical bioethics, and research ethics. Sisti’s writings on healthcare ethics have appeared in JAMA, Nature Immunology, the Journal of Medical Ethics, and elsewhere. He is an editor of three books, most recently Applied Ethics in Mental Healthcare (with Caplan & Rimon-Greenspan, The MIT Press, 2013). In 2008, Sisti was an Edmund D. Pellegrino Fellow at Georgetown University. Dr. Sisti earned his PhD in Philosophy at Michigan State University in 2010.
In person: This lecture will take place in C102 East Fee Hall on MSU’s East Lansing campus. Feel free to bring your lunch! Beverages and light snacks will be provided.
Can’t make it? All webinars are recorded! View our archive of recorded lectures.