National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

Constitutional Implications of Involuntary Medication Orders
for those with Capacity to Give Informed Consent but Allegedly Dangerous

Kirk W. Lowry, J.D. 

Connecticut law provides for the involuntary medication of a voluntary civil patient with capacity to give informed consent who is allegedly dangerous. The statute is rarely used and has never been challenged. The long and consistent body of cases that hold that a person with capacity has the right to refuse treatment and that the right to refuse antipsychotic medication is a fundament liberty interest, draws into question the constitutionality of such statutes. This workshop will give an overview of forced medication statutes in the context of various state interests of restoration to capacity, emergencies, and treatment. The workshop will focus on civil patients in the treatment context and analyze the Connecticut statute against cases holding that patients have a constitutional right to refuse antipsychotic medication unless they are unable to give informed consent and the medication is necessary for their proposed treatment.

Link to brief presenter bio:

Kirk W. Lowry, J.D.