Boston University School of Law

JD775 Mental Health Law (S)


This seminar introduces students to the law governing issues of mental health and the relationship between law and psychiatry. After providing an overview of mental disabilities and their treatment, the seminar will cover topics such as informed consent, access to care, criminal liability and the death penalty, civil commitment, anti-discrimination protections, and the impact of mental disability on families. We will consider whether the law adequately reflects psychiatric approaches to mental health and whether and how the law should meet the needs of people struggling with mental disabilities. In addition to case law and legal scholarship, reading materials may cover other disciplines, primarily psychiatry. Students will be required to give class presentations and write one substantial research paper. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 15 students. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.