Chapter

The Right to Refuse Medication: When Can I Just Say No?

in Refusing Care

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780226733975
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226733999 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226733999.003.0005
The Right to Refuse Medication: When Can I Just Say No?

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Psychotropic medications have revolutionized the treatment of the major mental illnesses. There are drugs for psychoses (antipsychotics), manic-depressive disorder (mood stabilizers), depression (antidepressants), and anxiety disorders (antianxiety drugs). Newer drugs are appearing that promise to be equally or more efficacious with fewer serious risks and side effects. Mental health professionals tend to see these drugs as the salvation of most patients and most refusals as a product of the patients' illness; lawyers often speak of patients' autonomy in making the very sensible decision to refuse. They also raise the specter of mind control. Some decry the growing overreliance on chemicals in Western society. The focus on civil commitment might serve as a proxy for serious mental illness, suffering, and disability.

Keywords: psychotropic medications; mental illness; treatment; drugs

Chapter.  14979 words. 

Subjects: Medical and Healthcare Law

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