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American Bar Association




Civil libertarians have little difficulty appreciating the plight of prisoners or mental patients. But tell the average civil libertarian that there are significant and unnecessary restrictions on the individual rights and liberties of patients in general hospitals, and you are likely to encounter a blank stare. There are a number of reasons for this lack of attention to hospitals. One is the general misconception that the problems are minor, or that certain temporary restrictions on individuals are essential if hospitals are to treat sick people properly. An unconscious desire not to perceive ourselves as being at risk may be another reason.

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