Experiencing homelessness is traumatizing and can exacerbate mental illnesses and substance use disorders. When persons experiencing homelessness are a danger to themselves or others, petitioning for involuntary placement is clinically, ethically, and legally indicated. The process of involuntary commitment is often traumatic and can fracture already fragile relationships that persons experiencing homeless have; involuntary commitment should be used only when necessary. It is society's obligation to prevent crises but, when needed, to support persons in crisis by responding with care to their health needs.
Tornabene, M. L., & Tornabene, A. S. (2021, November 1). Four Ways to Limit Use of Force in Care of Persons Experiencing Homelessness. AMA Journal of Ethics. American Medical Association. https://doi.org/10.1001/AMAJETHICS.2021.869