The practice of psychiatry has changed drastically over the past four decades. People have referred to the third revolution in psychiatry, which has been marked by legal regulation, a significant rise in
psychiatric malpractice cases, and an appreciation for the rights of psychiatric patients. All these changes have come rather rapidly and have been confusing to a number of practicing psychiatrists. Formerly psychiatrists were truly in charge of their patients; they made decisions for their patients. Currently, third-party payers, regulatory agencies, lawyers, and judges intrude on the practice of psychiatry. A number of psychiatrists have turned to the study of law to help understand these changes in regulation and implementation that profoundly affected the practice of psychiatry.