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One of the most generally accepted assumptions among mental health professionals is that if the mentally ill were accorded the rights and obligation of the sick role, they would be less rejected by the public. This is the first study that could be found in the literature which examines whether or not this assumptíon is valid. The data strongly suggest that conferring the sick role on the mentally ill does not lessen rejection, but may, in some instances. increase social rejection. A possible interpretation for this striking and unexpected finding is offered.