Keynote Recording: Rights to Consumers’ Rights: Some Historical Reflections on the Evolution of a Concept

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Authors: Nancy Tomes

Year: 1998

Event: 1998 TheMHS Conference

Subject: keynote audio recording, consumer rights, psychiatry

Type of resource: Audio

Abstract: One of the most striking trends in American psychiatry has been the adoption of language and concepts drawn from the modern consumer society. In the climate of uncertainty created by the managed care revolution, hospitals are devoting new attention to their 'mental health product lines'. Efforts to improve services for the mentally ill care cast in the terminology and assumptions of consumer movements. When and how have we come to think of patients rights primarily in terms of consumer rights? What are the virtues and drawbacks of service models drawn from twentieth century consumer society? By placing these questions in historical perspective, this presentation will offer some provocative insights into the long-term evolution of psychiatric patients into mental health consumers.

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