“Woman Hospitalized Involuntarily Wants Legal Aid for Mental Health Hearing”


A Canadian woman is attempting to assert her right to a lawyer in order to fight an involuntary psychiatric hospitalization. While homeless, the patient checked herself into an emergency room during a mental health crisis. She was then transferred to a psychiatric hospital and told she could not leave.  She must now go before a Mental Health Review Board and argue for her own freedom, a task she is expected to do without any legal assistance. “The suggestion that we expect folks to go and make that case, even if you weren’t ‘mentally ill’, on your own would be a remarkable thing. But to do it when you’re ‘mentally ill’? It’s embarrassing that we would expect people to be able to do that and get a fair hearing,” said Mark Underhill, one of the lawyers representing the woman.

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