Mental Health Committal Law Law and Legal Definition

Severe mental illnesses can affect a person's judgment. People sometimes stop taking the very medications that allow them to function safely in society. People who are judged to be a danger to themselves or others can almost always be forced to get treatment in the United States. The procedures vary from state to state.

There are laws which protect mentally ill persons from receiving treatment against their will. The procedure by which a person is involuntarily committed to an institution under a civil or criminal statute is subject to the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. Courts have held that such statutes must bear some reasonable relation to the purpose for which the individual is committed.