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The philosophical basis of psychiatry 

The philosophical basis of psychiatry
The philosophical basis of psychiatry

Nicholas Deakin

, Dinesh Bhugra

, and Giovanni Stanghellini

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date: 18 May 2022

Advances within psychiatry and our understanding of the discipline are both intertwined with thousands of years of social, cultural, ethical, and legal developments that have framed society and medical practice. This chapter seeks to explain the dominant ethical frameworks that influence practice and the increasing use of professional frameworks and regulations. The chapter offers some practical advice on how to apply these theories in everyday psychiatric practice. In terms of mental health law, given the differing national frameworks, the chapter discusses the ten principles of mental health law from the World Health Organization. It then briefly discusses informed consent and capacity frameworks, based on UK law, as useful examples that clinicians should consider.

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