Whose Mind is it, Anyway?


A positive, though limited, development in the California Supreme Court, as reported (via Associated Press copy) in today's Los Angeles Times:

Mentally ill inmates cannot be forced to take anti-psychotic drugs, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday, allowing a certain class of prisoners to refuse treatment in limited circumstances.

The justices' 6-1 decision concerns California inmates who have done their time for criminal convictions but have been found to be mentally unfit for release to the community. Those inmates, hundreds in all, are housed at state mental institutions until they are deemed fit for return to the community.

If they refuse anti-psychotics, the court ruled, the state cannot force them to take the medication unless a judge authorizes it. A judge must find that the inmate is incompetent to refuse treatment and is an immediate danger to himself or others.

In other words, in California a judge's approval is now required to force drugs down the throat of people being held in captivity despite the fact that their legally authorized imprisonment has ended. Oh well, at least it's a free country.