Volume 36, Issue 1 (January 1991)
The Relationship Between the Court and the Doctor on the Issue of an Inpatient's Refusal of Psychotropic Medication
New procedures, tailored after such court decisions as Rogers v. Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health, have restricted the doctor's ability to treat psychiatric inpatients with psychotropic medication and have increased the protection of a competent patient's right to refuse. This study investigates how the relationship between the doctor and the court has adapted to these new procedures. All 40 court cases of a maximum security forensic hospital over a two-year period were reviewed. Results suggest that the new procedures have had no dramatic effect upon either the treatment patients receive or the doctor court relationship. While abstract arguments both in favor of and against these new procedures can be drawn from the same data, the concrete relationship still remains poorly understood.