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Zachary
Zachary, Attorney
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Does the Sell Decision give involuntary court committed patients

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Does the Sell Decision give involuntary court committed patients the right to refuse all medications? how does a forensic mental health facility get a patient competent for court? Our "psychiatrists" recently told nursing they can refuse all meds. 9 employees out on disability,6 on light duty,and last week an employee medivaced to HUP after a malingerer who hasn't taken meds in a year knocked her out! Are we supposed to bet hurt or killed from these 'patients rights"?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zachary replied 2 years ago.

Zachary D. Norris :

Hi,

Zachary D. Norris :

I'll be answering your questions today.

Zachary D. Norris :

Actually, I'm going to opt out here to allow an expert with more knowledge on this subject matter to answer.

Zachary D. Norris :

Thanks

Customer :

ok I hope someone can help, it hasn't been easy!

Customer :

Is anyone going to get on line to answer? if i wait fine but I will not pay if I'm left hanging

Customer :

Leaving the chat now, I'm tired. If not in my email tomorrow please note i will not accept the fee. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX can help.

Zachary, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4006
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
Zachary and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Hi, Welcome to JustAnswer, Thank you for your question

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I would be glad to help



1. Do you have the citation of the case ?

2. If not, could you tell me in what year the case was decided and in which Court ?


Thank you,


ANDREA

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just googled Sell vs Us Supreme Court! Then read the case law and having a consultant background( Forensics not my expertise at the time)was able I think decipher it. It appears the state has the obligation to protect the "state" so a danger to themselves or others is reasonable to order medication.Concludes with it appears the courts will most likely agree with the facility.Suddenly, our docs are no longer allowed to get a second opinion order(routine procedure)and give the assaultive pt.a stat med.Employees & pts. getting seriously injured. I can find no current law that supports their position. This I found myself. Try google.
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

I respectfully must differ with you. The case was concerned with certain individual rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution being violated by the State by administering antipsychotic medication to a criminal Defendant for the sole purpose of rendering the Defendant competent to stand trial, where such Defendant had previously been determined to be incompetent to stand trial.

The issue before the United States Supreme Court in Sell v. United States, 539 U.S. 166 (2003) was whether a Defendant’s cognitive liberty as guaranteed by the US Constitution is violated if antipsychotic medication is forcibly administered to a Defendant. And, specifically in Dr. Sell’s case, could a lower Court Order the forcible administration of antipsychotic medication to a criminal defendant who had been determined to be incompetent to stand trial for the sole purpose of making them competent to stand trial,

The US Court of Appeals affirmed the US District Court which held that a lower Court could order the forcible administration of antipsychotic medication to a criminal defendant.

The United States Supreme Court reversed, holding that antipsychotic medication could not be forcibly administered to a criminal Defendant who was not dangerous to himself or others, for the sole purpose of rendering the Defendant mentally competent to stand trial for serious but nonviolent crimes.

The United States Supreme Court further held that stringent limits had to be imposed on the right of a lower court to order the forcible administration of antipsychotic medication Specifically, the court held that lower courts could do so only under limited circumstances in which specified criteria had been met. In the case of Charles Sell, since the lower court had failed to determine that all the appropriate criteria for court-ordered forcible treatment had been met, the order to forcibly medicate the defendant was reversed.

Applying the decision in Sell to your question relating to those who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility, It would appear that if they are not a danger to themselves, or others, then they can refuse their medication ad a Court would not have the power to Order anyone to administer medication which the patient has refused.

You question the rights of personnel, it is very difficult, I would say Impossible to defeat an individual's rights when his claim to those rights is based on the United States Constitution

 

PLEASE BE KIND ENOUGH TO LEAVE POSITIVE FEEDBACK SO THAT I RECEIVE CREDIT FOR ASSISTING YOU,

 

Thank you,

ANDREA

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Andrea: A Commonwealth attorney recently met with all physicians & they were interpreting his talk to mean we are changing long term policy of getting a second opinion and then medicating DANGEROUS patients. I get the competency part though it makes little sense( without meds the schizophrenic will never be competent); am wondering what my purpose is? The significance of the case says,"it seems to add weight to a growing acceptance of the belief that government can override the constitutional rights of self determination on medical matters." The patients I described are extremely violent, clearly a danger to others;our (state) psychiatrists took this lawyer's talk to include even those!If they can refuse meds for competency, put them in prison,our facility can't help them.That's my interpretation of Sell as it is the only case law referred to from the Commonwealth's attorney.I believe the law is misinterpreted in my case as well as your interpretation. You have told me nothing I didn't know already and conflict between courts and medicine goes on!
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
I once again must respectfully XXXXX XXXXX you. Your question concerned the decision in Sell v. United States, 539 U.S. 166 (2003) and your interpretation was:


"It appears the state has the obligation to protect the "state" " and


"Suddenly, our docs are no longer allowed to get a second opinion order"

I did not see this in the decision. The issue was whether a lower Court could Order that antipsychotic medication be forcibly adinistered to a criminal Defendant patient for the sole purpose of making him competent to stand trial where such criminal Defendant patient was previously found to be incompetent. The Supreme Court reversed the US Court of Appeals which had affirmed the decision of the US District Court.

By way of dicta , and unrelated to the issue of competency to stand trial, the US Supreme Court stated that in limited ircumstances medication could be forcibly administered to a patient who posed a danger to himself or others.

I also stated in my Answer to you that applying the decision in Sell to your situation, it would appear that medication could be administered to patients who posed a danger to themselves or others.

Please be kind enough to click on the "Smiley Face" so that I receive credit for researching your question and furnishing you with Answers and information, otherwise, I do not get paid at all. Did you intend to put an 'accept checkmark' in the other expert's box who opted out of your question ? Please let me know and I will contact customer service,


Thank you,


ANDREA
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When i click accept answer it says I have already accepted one answer and i did not. Until I was answered back to my minimal satisfaction and I click on to accept answer I will only pay one fee of 48$. It does not allow me to do this. I am not paying for an expert who opted out but although i didn't get the answer i was looking for, I am willing to pay one fee of48$. That's my final offer.

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