Responsibly determining whether and when to use potentially lifesaving force when caring for patients who are acutely mentally ill typically requires carefully applying 2 key ethical standards. First, short-term morbidity or mortality risk must be minimized. Second, potential long-term harm to a patient who is traumatized during a forcibly performed intervention and potential long-term consequences to a patient's trust in clinicians must be seriously considered. This article suggests these minimum standards in mental health care decision making are necessary but insufficient. It is proposed that clinicians' intentions and motivations should not be grounded merely in harm minimization; rather, they should be grounded in compassion maximization. The article then proposes criteria for what compassion maximization would look like in response to a case.
Trestman, R. L., & Nagaraja, K. (2021). Case and commentary: Peer-reviewed article how should clinicians execute critical force interventions with compassion, not just harm minimization, as a clinical and ethical goal? AMA Journal of Ethics, 23(4), 292–297. https://doi.org/10.1001/AMAJETHICS.2021.292