Historic Forced Drugging Settlement

Submitted by admin on Wed, 01/21/2004 - 00:09

Historic Forced Drugging Settlement


Posted on Jan 21, 04

In an historic court ruling, a Manhattan man was recently award $975,000 -- that's right, **$975,000** -- for being forcibly confined at Bellevue Hospital and drugged against his will.

The jury found that it didn't matter if the man was psychotic or mentally ill, was angry or yelling, or had a history of psychiatric diagnosis: the hospital had no real justification for forced treatment.

The attorney filing the case said, "This case is quite frankly pure and simple about liberty....It's about one's liberty to come and go when one wants, without interference from the government. And it is also about ... the freedom to have one's thoughts, no matter how off-beat or off-center or ... even radical, without being labeled mentally ill or crazy or dangerous and then being shut off to a psychiatric hospital because physicians, upon the most cursory evaluations, believe you are mentally ill."

The trial judge added, "The award sends a message to psychiatric hospitals and doctors that you can't routinely admit someone and label them dangerous ... and inject them with mind-altering drugs because you have a desire to treat them."

Listen up, Cooley Dickinson.

You can read about this ruling in the Newsday column.

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