Should psychiatric hospitals work to avoid restraining patients?

Posted Sept. 03, 2010, at 4:17 p.m.

A new trend in psychiatric treatment is to avoid restraining patients who act out. Restraint

by staff, sometimes using equipment, is said to humiliate patients causing further alienation, distrust and other fall-out. The other side of the debate is that staff can sustain serious injuries if patients who are out of control are not restrained. What is the answer? Should patients be given a lot of leeway in such hospitals, or should they be restrained the minute they become violent? Is there a middle ground?