Supreme Court Reverses Forced Medication Order

Woman with biopolar disorder was involuntarily committed to the state psychiatric hospital

By Dillon Tabish

HELENA — The Montana Supreme Court has reversed a forced medication order for a 72-year-old woman with biopolar disorder who was involuntarily committed to the state psychiatric hospital in October 2015.

Justices said the woman had no history of refusing to take her medication so District Judge Rod Souza had no reason to include forced medication in the court order committing her to the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs.

A psychiatric nurse practitioner who evaluated the woman told the court it “may be necessary” to force the woman to take medication to treat her mental illness so she said she usually recommends an involuntary medication order. The nurse did acknowledge that the woman had been taking her medication as directed.

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