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Vermont supreme court wades into issue of forced medication

November 17, 2019 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Supreme Court says a past finding of incompetence doesn’t mean a mentally ill man was still incompetent when he signed an advanced directive banning involuntary medication.

The Rutland Herald reports that the decision, released Friday, rejected a family court suggestion that the patient lacked capacity to make the decision “merely because he continued to have a mental illness.”

Justice Paul Reiber wrote there was insufficient evidence to support a decision to go against the 34-year-old man’s wishes.

The patient adopted the advanced directive in 2017 after complaining that medication used to treat schizophrenia altered his mood and thinking.

The family court approved an application for involuntary medication the following year after he was committed for treatment.