The Right to Refuse Medication: Freedom and Responsibility


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Abstract

Individual freedoms must be guarded, including the freedom to refuse treatment. However, psychotic conditions often involve a lack of understanding of one’s illness and the need for treatment. Lack of treatment tends to be associated with a worsening condition and many patients have, on reflection, agreed that while psychotic they did need treatment even though at the time they were opposed to it. Methods for assuring treatment while protecting freedoms are reviewed.

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