Rivers v. Katz
North Eastern Reporter, 2d series 1986; 495: 337-345
Reversing the action of the Supreme Court, Special Term, the Court of Appeals of New York held that the due process clause of the state constitution afforded involuntarily committed mental patients the right to refuse antipsychotic medication. The liberty interest of a competent adult includes the right to refuse medical treatment, and neither mental illness nor involuntary commitment necessarily indicates that the patient is unable to comprehend the consequences of such a decision. The right to refuse antipsychotic drugs must yield, however, when there is imminent danger to the patient or others in the immediate vicinity. (KIE abstract)
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