Recent mass shootings have prompted law makers to take a closer look at laws concerning the mentally ill. In the past those suffering from mental illness had significant control in making decisions to seek medical help. A new law may give family members the right to make health decisions including hospital confinement under certain circumstances.
The proposed law would broaden the criteria for holding the dangerous mentally ill against their will. Instead of “imminent likelihood” of harm to themselves or others, it would be necessary only to show “substantial” likelihood of harm under the proposed law. The legislaton also would allow those making the commitment decision to consider information offered by family members and co-workers.
Mental health issues in America are on the rise and like most lethal weapons, guns may only be a piece in the puzzle of a much larger problem. It appears that a significant number of mass violent acts are carried out by individuals that have exhibited signs of mental health issues.
Often those that are ill fail to get adequate healthcare. While some may not exhibit violent behavior, it is clear that more focus on mental healthcare can save lives.