I say he's crazy; therefore, he must go through an evaluation.
February 1, 2009 9:37 AM Subscribe
Australian (and U.S.) Mental Health/Legal Filter. Can you just go and talk your GP into having someone put through a psychiatric evaluation?
posted by metalheart to law & government (14 answers total)
One of my close friends is studying medicine here in Melbourne, Australia, and in one of his various internships, a psychiatrist told him that anyone can recommend someone get a psychiatric evaluation, through their GP. In other words, if you wanted to, you could go through the process against another person, like so:
Go to your local GP. Talk to him about the person you consider to be mentally ill, and, if the GP agrees with you that this sounds like a mental illness that could cause harm to that person or those around him, that person must, by law, go through a psychiatric evaluation.
Psychiatrist telling him this or not, I call bullshit on it--at least some of it. It seems like, surely, there must be some evidence (other than words/hearsay) that a random individual has to provide for a GP to sign this off. Moreover, it would seem the GP would actually have to see said mentally ill individual, not just hear what some other person has to say about him.
If not, I can very easily imagine people doing this just to disturb someone they don't like/broke up with/fired, etc. It seems too easy: pick a mental illness, go speak with a GP, get him to agree with you, and in no time at all, the person you're saying is mentally ill has to go in for an evaluation. Talk about stressing someone out, if you're lying!
Is this true? If so, under what law? I've not been able to find it through searching. I'm looking for laws and policies, if possible, though anecdotal evidence is okay, too.
Extra Question: I know a bit about involuntary commitment and the like under U.S. law, and I know that a doctor himself can recommend involuntary commitment for one of his own patients that he deems a danger to himself or others, but is there anything similar to the above?
If these laws do exist in either or both countries, what provisions are there to protect individuals from being evaluated wrongfully? I.e., suing doctors and the like.