Right to Consent or Refuse Medication and Treatment

If it is the hospital’s opinion that medication be prescribed for you, they now must ask you for your permission. In order for you to make an informed decision, however, they must provide you with the following information:

  • the reason for the medication;
  • the nature of the medication;
  • the pluses and minuses of the medication;
  • any alternative medication that is medically acceptable for you;
  • the risks of taking the medication; and
  • the risks of not taking the medication.

After you are fully informed of the reasons and risks associated with the medication, you should respond whether or not you agree with their decision.

If you disagree, the hospital can:

  • agree;
  • further discuss their concerns with you;
  • decide that without medication your behavior puts you or others in "direct threat or harm;" or
  • find you unable to make the decision.

If the hospital determines that (1) you are unable to give your permission or make a knowledgeable decision about the medication or (2) without the medication your behavior is a "direct threat of harm," and they want to medicate you against your wishes, the hospital must hold an internal hearing and/or file in Probate Court prior to medicating you.