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The Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health Care is housed in the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. The ScattergoodEthics Program aims to elevate the national conversation about the ethics of research, treatment, and delivery of behavioral health care.


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Dominic Sisti, Andrea Segal, Ezekiel Emanuel. 2015. "Improving Long-Term Psychiatric Care: Bring Back the Asylum," JAMA 313(3):243-244.
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July 22, 2015 | A Debate on Treating Mental Illness: Should We Bring Back Asylums? | The Commonwealth Club of San Francisco | San Francisco, CA
Listen to the Audio


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Rep. Murphy's bill a good start in reforming mental-health care
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More From ScattergoodEthics

Recent News

Social Work Today | "Article Stirs Debate on Long-Term Psychiatric Care" | July-August | Read Article

Newsworks | "Should digital health records include mental health?" | July 10, 2015 | Read Article

The Philadelphia Inquirer | "Bill a good start in reforming mental-health care" | July 2, 2015 | Read Article

Australian Broadcast Corporation | "Controversial ketamine clinic linked to sex treatment company as medical board launches investigation" | June 15, 2015 | Read Article 

VICE | "The Life, Death, and Possible Resurrection of the Asylum" | April 27, 2015 | Read Article

The New York Times | "The Modern Asylum" | February 18, 2015 | Read Article

Recent Events

JULY 22, 2015 | A Debate on Treating Mental Illness: Should We Bring Back Asylums? | The Commonwealth Club of San Francisco |  Listen

JUNE 11-13, 2015 | 7th Journal of Ethics in Mental Health Conference | Cobourg, Ontario

JUNE 7-9, 2015 | Detroit-Wayne Mental Health Association 1st Annual Interdisciplinary Mental Health Conference | Detroit, MI

May 16-20, 2015 | 4th Annual Scattergood-APA Ethics Track | American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting | Toronto, ON

A Debate on Treating Mental Illness: Should We Bring Back Asylums?

Dominic Sisti, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Renee Binder, M.D., University of California, San Francisco; Incoming President, American Psychiatric Association

Dr. Gloria Duffy, President and CEO, The Commonwealth Club — Moderator

July 22, 2015

Bring Back the Asylum? Improving Long Term Psychiatric Care

Ezekiel Emanuel & Lloyd Sederer

Moderated by Steve Clemmons of the Atlantic Magazine

National Council for Behavioral Health Annual Meeting

May 14, 2015

ParityTrack now Live

ParityTrack is a collaborative forum that works to aggregate and elevate the parity implementation work taking place across the country. Parity Track aims to be the central site for mental health and substance use disorder parity information and to offer an exclusive look at parity issues. Parity Track seeks to help consumers understand their rights under the Federal Parity Law and state parity laws and to help consumers feel empowered to exercise those rights.

Check it Out


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WHYY: Asylum for the severely mentally ill
Forty years ago, we thought closing psychiatric hospitals was the humane action. But was it? In a recent article Penn bioethicists have called for a return to asylums– not surprisingly to some opposition. What’s in the best interest of the severely mentally ill? We talk to one of the authors of the article, bioethicist Dr. Dominic Sisti and mental health advocate, Joseph Rogers.

About Us

The Scattergood Program for the Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health Care (ScattergoodEthics) is housed within the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.  

ScattergoodEthics is dedicated to education, research, and resource development for the field of psychiatric, mental, and behavioral healthcare ethics. The program engages in scholarly research, trains and educates clinicians and scholars in mental and behavioral healthcare ethics, sponsors programs and public events, and promotes and advocates for greater attention to the ethical dimensions of diagnosis and treatment.  ScattergoodEthics is funded in large part by the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation. 

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