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Old 07-20-2009, 10:02 AM
 
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We all know how many people get sent to jail for taking illegal drugs. Whether that should be so is another discussion. What I want to discuss here is someone who SHOULD be taking LEGAL drugs for a mental or physical condition such as bi-polar, manic-depressive or seizures. Should they be held accountable if they DON'T take their medications and as a result cause some sort of harm to others? Does their mental condition excuse them from being held accountable? Can they be compelled to take their medications or face consequences that would protect them from themselves and others?

I'd really like to see some thoughtful discussion here on IF and HOW this should/could be accomplished. I do not have a strong position yet on this which is why I'd like some input.
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Old 07-20-2009, 10:22 AM
 
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Well I know that if a person has let's say TB they are obligated to take the meds. I worked at a hospital where a pt refused and the hospital called the police. There were two sheriffs posted outside her door until she was cleared. I think if the pt is a danger to themselves or others than they should have to take them. It's the same way with the vaccines. They don't allow you into schools without them because you are a health risk. It should be enforced across the board or not at all.
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Old 07-20-2009, 10:31 AM
 
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there's no problem when the disease is a danger to others, but there is a big problem when it comes to mental illness. There is no way to determine if a person is going to be a threat to any one else. Nor is there anyway to tell in advance that THIS is the time that he/she is not going to take the required medication.

It sounds like requiring them to take it would be a good idea. But it would be extremely difficult to determine who HAD to take them and who didn't. Also, some are a danger even while on medication and some are dangeous, just bad tempered and hateful. Where would we draw the line between ugly personality and mental illness?
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Old 07-20-2009, 10:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sayulita View Post
Should they be held accountable if they DON'T take their medications and as a result cause some sort of harm to others? Does their mental condition excuse them from being held accountable? Can they be compelled to take their medications or face consequences that would protect them from themselves and others?
.
Here's how I look at it. If someone who is mentally ill can take medication and it makes them sane enough to realize that they have problems when they do NOT take their meds...and then they voluntarily stop taking their meds, then they are indeed responsible for whatever they do when they are off the meds.
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Old 07-20-2009, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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It is not unreasonable for criminal law to take the position that a person who could have reasonably avoided a felonious mindset thereby had a measure of responsibility for his actions. Much like a person who knowingly refused to repair the brakes on his car can be held criminally liable.

Having said that, it should be left for a jury to decide if a case falls within this parameter. It would be unwise to try to write legislation that would specificaily try to address circumstances.
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Old 07-20-2009, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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When the condition is reasonably controllable and they are a danger to others by not taking the medications, I think it should be mandatory for any illness. For infections that can be spread, say like multiple resistant TB, there is no question in my mind exposure must be limited and needs to be cured.

For mental illnesses it's a little different, it depends on what happens. If people are violent to others it should be mandatory to take the medications or be locked up so they cannot hurt others. If they are violent to themselves or just passively crazy it can be a choice, but once they make that choice they are responsible for any and all repercussions of that choice. Not anyone else.
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Old 07-20-2009, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Mandatory medical care would only be appropriate if there is a compelling public health issue, such as a communicable disease (e.g., TB). In the USA, you cannot lock people up simply "so they won't hurt others". Not until they do hurt others. You have to wait until they commit a criminal act, and then you can deal with them as criminals. Otherwise, the have the same freedoms you have.
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Old 07-20-2009, 04:28 PM
Status: "happy again, no longer catless! t...." (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Cushing OK
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People do not take meds for mental illness for various reasons. Many of them have debilitating side effects and its not up to the doctor to decide if thats okay. With your ten minute appointment every couple months with the doctor, there is never time to explore problems. The tendency is to give people more rather than exploring if the drug is working or something else would do better. These are some reasons why people cut back or stop. And for some almost nothing works. They have tried a succession but to no avail. This is especially true of depression. And with bipolar folks, sometimes its JUST a reminder of something in life that made you sad and no pill will fix that.

Its not so simple as correcting a measurable thing, and most people who don't take meds would be very happy to if they had something which worked without makeing them a zombie. The wish is that a pill will fix everything, and the fact is they don't. But that support to help with the hard part is often not there.

And we shouldn't mess with the rights of the patient. If your doctor gave you something for a condition which made you dizzy, and you told your doctor it was not acceptable, would you like it if you HAD to take it anyway? Would you simply not take it and never mention it to the doctor?

Making the doctors decision manditiory is opening a pandoras box. Yes, someone who harms someone and does not take a drug which could have prevented it is responsible. But that is a miniscule amount of people, and they give plenty of clues before they blow. Deal with the realities and fix them. Have doctors listen to the concerns of their patients and work with them even if it takes twenty more minutes. Look out of the box. All much better than extending even more control over out freedoms.
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Old 07-31-2009, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Northern California
481 posts, read 609,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
People do not take meds for mental illness for various reasons. Many of them have debilitating side effects and its not up to the doctor to decide if thats okay. With your ten minute appointment every couple months with the doctor, there is never time to explore problems.

Making the doctors decision manditiory is opening a pandoras box. .
Until they can PROVE that the medications are not harmful and have no debilitating side-effects, then it is simply evil to make taking those meds mandatory.
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Old 08-01-2009, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
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I have a real hard time forcing drugs, even for medical use, on anyone. If they prove to be a danger to society....then perhaps they need extreme supervision for awhile...but should never be forced to take something they don't want to take.
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