New Jersey is Sued Over the Forced Medication of Patients

Patient advocates have filed a federal lawsuit charging that New Jersey psychiatric hospitals routinely medicate patients against their will, and without a review by an outside arbiter.

The majority of states require a judge's ruling for involuntary medication, and some others leave the decision to an individual or panel outside the hospital. But in New Jersey, state rules allow a patient in a state hospital to appeal medication decisions only to people in the hospital itself.

The New York Times reports:

"The suit, filed in Federal District Court in Trenton by the group Disability Rights New Jersey, seeks a court order requiring the state to provide judicial review of involuntary medication. It notes that a prison inmate has more power to contest treatment decisions than a psychiatric patient."

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