Informed Consent to Treatment and Medication

An individual receiving mental health services in an inpatient (hospital) setting has the right to make an informed, voluntary decision regarding medications, except when very specific limited circumstances have been documented and appropriate procedures are followed to protect that person’s civil rights.

No medical treatment should be allowed without the individual’s informed consent.

  • Limited involuntary medication only of hospitalized persons only for specified periods of time after a hearing.

  • No involuntary medication orders of mental health drugs are allowed for persons in community

  • Note: However, courts have discretion to impose conditions on parole or probation, including participation in treatment.

  • Due to invasive nature of medications to treat mental illness, due process protections apply to authorization of these medications (Washington v. Harper).

  • Conservators of person do not automatically have authority to authorize meds to treat mental illness. A separate determination is required (Doe v. Hunter ).