In deciding Addington vs Texas the US Supreme Court established "clear and convincing evidence" as the standard of proof necessary for civil commitment of the mentally ill rather than the criminal standard, "beyond a reasonable doubt." This decision has major implications for the mentally ill person, the family, and the psychiatrist. The mentally ill person is returned to the role of patient. The family is given aid in their dilemma of coping with their psychotic member. The psychiatrist is seen as helper rather than jailer.
(JAMA 242:2307-2309, 1979)