Forced Medication - OK or Not?

Despite the fact that most people with schizophrenia are not violent, people like Jared Loughner continue to make the news and shape public opinion on the mental illness. Loughner, accused of shooting six people and wounding 13 including Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords, has been undergoing evaluation at a federal prison hospital to determine whether he is competent to stand trial. Today, his lawyers argued in court that Loughner should no longer be forcibly medicated with antipsychotic drugs.

Medical News Today published an interesting article looking at the legal precedents for such an argument, and examining whether forced administration of medication to a mentally ill prisoner is legal and just. The goal is to restore a prisoner's mental competency so that he or she can stand trial, as well as ensure that the prisoner is not a danger to themselves or others. It is a very complicated issue, and an extreme example of the difficulties faced by many people with schizophrenia and their families, who must weigh the benefits and risks of medication treatment as well as sometimes deal with a schizophrenic's refusal of treatment.

Read more: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/230550.php

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