Mental Health Question #2


A client is admitted involuntarily to the psychiatric facility and will remain on a 72-hour mandated observation. Which type of ethic describes situations where patient rights may not supersede mandated care?


  1. Utilitarianism
    • Rationale:
  2. Autonomy
    • Rationale:
  3. Deontological
    • Rationale:
  4. Post-Modern
    • Rationale:



Utilitarianism posits a view that a response is related to the outcome/consequence of an act (also consequentialism) and calculating a net benefit or dis-benefit of the act or policy. For a client who is harmful to self and/or others, a decision is made to justify taking patient rights from a person who threatens a greater number, which would override an individual’s lack of rights. In psychiatric units, involuntary admissions create a safety net for the client and others, as the client may not have the right to refuse treatment or medicine. On the other hand, autonomy is the driver of person-centered, self-determination acts that embrace patient bill of rights. Deontological ethics creates rules, duties, and rights, and categorical imperatives regardless of consequences. This type of ethics places value on the intentions of the individual rather than the outcomes of an action, and the focus is on the rules and obligations. For nursing care, best practices sets out to find ways that have patient-driven outcomes and are not like deontologists. Post-modern is not an ethics term but a philosophical ideology.

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