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Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Sidebar: What Happens When Someone is Deemed ‘Incompetent’ but is Willing to Consent to Taking Neuroleptic Drugs?

The Rogers Order is actually not just about forcing someone who is refusing neuroleptic (commonly referred to as antipsychotic) drugs to take them. At its foundation, the Rogers ruling is about whether or not someone is capable of making an informed decision (regardless of whether in alignment with doctors advice or not). It’s a statement of competence more than anything else, and thus even someone who is willing to follow doctor’s orders where neuroleptics are concerned should technically only do so under a Rogers Order if they are deemed unable to make independent decisions for themselves.

Specifically, the Rogers ruling says:

“[H]owever, because incompetent persons cannot meaningfully consent to medical treatment, a substituted judgment by a judge should be undertaken for the incompetent patient even if the patient accepts the medical treatment" .

Whether or not this level of enforcement is desirable is another story, as it’s generally much harder to get off a Rogers Order than to avoid one altogether.

 

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