For over forty years as a practitioner and as chief of psychiatry at a large community hospital, Ive been acquiring very credible evidence of peoples mental disturbance pretty much every day. Triage clinicians are called to the emergency department round the clock to evaluate psychotic cases, and the large group practice I belong to sees one hundred new patients every month. But so many patients certainly would not seek us out if we ran tattling to the police every time an irrational person said something menacing.When we do sense imminent violence, however, the law poses no problems. I dont know about Arizona, but in Massachusetts virtually any psychologist or psychiatrist seeking to restrain a dangerous person just completes a simple form known colloquially as a pink paper, and faxes it to the police. They transport the patient to a hospital where he can be held for at least three days on the admitting doctors say-so. During that time, if the patient continues to be adjudged dangerous, the hospital requests a commitment hearing. The patient is then detained for as long as it takesnever less than a weekand provided with a lawyer. A judge is brought to the hospital. At that point the patients right to due process is honored.The system for dealing with violent patients is fraught with problems, but not because of the law. It is nonviolent patients and their families who suffer most from the libertarian tenor of the laws on involuntary treatment that concern William Galston.