From the story:
In a declaration quoted by the court, the Napa State Hospital medical director said that "without his antipsychotic medication, (Qawi) would pose a markedly increased risk to the safety and security of staff and patients."This is one of the many reasons my profession sometimes gets me down. At least the requests to involuntarily medicate seriously ill patients are usually granted. I hate it when jurists get all twisted up in the jurisprudence and forget to see what might happen outside their courtrooms.
The court also said psychiatric evaluators at the hospital had found that Qawi "consistently maintains that he suffers no mental illness and requires no medication or other forms of treatment."
In the 6-1 ruling, Justice Carlos Moreno said any competent adult, including a prison inmate, has the right to refuse medical treatment.
It was not clear what happened to Qawi as a result of the ruling.
Since the ruling, the state Department of Mental Health has gone to court hundreds of times for "Qawi hearings" to authorize involuntary medication of mentally disordered offenders on the grounds that they are either incompetent or potentially dangerous, spokeswoman Kirsten Macintyre said Friday. Macintyre said she couldn't provide information about Qawi or any other individual.
At Atascadero State Hospital, the only institution for which records are available, such requests have been almost uniformly granted by judges, Macintyre said. Records from Atascadero also indicate that patients who refuse antipsychotic medication commit assaults more often than patients who consent, Macintyre said. From January through June 2006, she said, the 204 patients who refused medication committed an average of 4.62 assaults on staff, other patients or themselves, compared with an average of 1.54 assaults by the 843 patients who consented to medication.