“An Overabundance of Caution”

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Under Canada’s Mental Health Act (MHA), police respond to anonymous calls expressing concern about a person’s mental health, often leading to that person’s detainment without a lawyer. This is the story of  Gordon Stewart, whose struggles with Canada’s tax service provides “a seminal example of how MHA apprehensions can be easily prompted and steered by anger, fear, gossip, incomplete facts, falsehoods, and highly subjective interpretations— making the MHA a dangerous interpersonal weapon.”

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