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August 2017 Vol. 54 No. 12

Johns Hopkins University Press

The following review appeared in the August 2017 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email

Social & Behavioral Sciences

Miller, Dinah. Committed: the battle over involuntary psychiatric care, by Dinah Miller and Annette Hanson. Johns Hopkins, 2016. 298p bibl index ISBN 9781421420783, $22.95; ISBN 781421420790 ebook, $22.95.

Committed is a very informative and thought-provoking book. Miller (psychiatry, Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine) and Hanson (psychiatry, Univ. of Maryland School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine) provide readers with clinical and legal information and patient and/or family anecdotes on involuntary psychiatric treatment. There are so many excellent sections that it is difficult to summarize in a review. In their description of involuntary psychopharmacological treatment and/or restraint, the authors present all sides of the issues related to patients and family members, mental health professionals, legal aspects, law enforcement, and emergency care professionals. The detailed, first person patient accounts make the experience of involuntary psychiatric care come alive. The reader follows accounts of other patient cases for and against psychiatric treatment, and in these vignettes he or she gains knowledge of the difficult sides of the issues pertaining to psychiatric treatment against one’s will. The authors round out the picture by providing readers with an excellent portrayal of how professionals deal with the problem of involuntary treatment of acutely and severely ill psychiatric patients. An overarching theme of this significant book is that there is a lack of accessible, comprehensive psychiatric care, which impacts both providers and patients.

--M. C. Matteis, Regis College

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers.