Why Forcibly Medicating the Mentally Ill Is Dangerous

July 12, 2014 3:58 PM

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Why Forcibly Medicating the Mentally Ill Is Dangerous

In a 9-2 vote on Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved Laura's Law, which allows judges to order involuntary outpatient treatment, including forced medication, for certain patients with a history of psychiatric illness. While adopted in 2002, Laura's Law requires authorization by local jurisdictions, so this vote made San Francisco the third jurisdiction and first major city in California to approve it. Los Angeles County is slated to decide on full implementation in the coming week.

Currently 45 states have so-called assisted outpatient treatment (or AOT) laws on the books, with varying degrees of implementation and enforcement. Some insist that such legislation is a wonderful way to "assist" people living with serious mental illnesses who refuse treatment because they lack ins...

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