Should people with severe mental illness be forced to take medication?

Asked by: Fanny
  • Yes, why wouldn't they take it?

    If they refuse to take medication then their judgement has been compromised. The medication has no other purpose except for suppress the illness, so why refuse to take it if it does not have adverse effects? Somebody with a severe illness should not be able to forgo medication that is intended to help them.

  • If the person lacks capacity to choose.

    If, as stated the mental illness is severe then it would be likely that a person would not have the capacity to make the decision to consent. Hence they would be committed to a hospital for treatment.
    The person would need to be treated for their illness to relieve their suffering.
    This may sound wrong to make the choice for someone but it would not be ethical to leave someone in that mental state untreated.

  • It's for their own good.

    When a person is sick, they take medication to maintain their disease or eliminate it. But when you have a mental illness, the logic functions of your brain aren't working correctly and you don't do what's best for you. Therefore, people with severe mental illness should be forcibly medicated for their own good, health and safety.

  • Yes! It may have saved my family!

    Having lived with a mother and brother both with sever schizophrenia it was impossible to get them to accept psychotherapy let alone medication. The family was so dysfunctional because of it and they both do not have a functioning life missing out on so much. I am very resentful of the lack of mandatory help mentally ill people get.

  • There are other ways to protect the public; And since meaning and value are subjective we can not justify it as "for their own good"

    Depending on your point of view perhaps I belong in the "yes" column because while I'm against directly forcing them to take medication my proposal would result in conditions that would theoretically allow refusal but still fall under what is typically socially constructed as "coercion".

    We can protect the public by giving those who are dangerous a choice, take this medication or be confined to the institutional and if worse confined to one's room and if at the worst in a straight jacket. But a person's body is their body and should be considered to belong to them.

    "Mental illness" is a social construct. Some construct of this sort is necessary though society would have more honesty and integrity if instead we used the label "social dangerousness" on the one hand and "mental discomfort" on the other. The former covering cases when a person's behavior just makes it impractical for us to keep the person in society or alternatively they may be safe but only on certain conditions which could include medication though we shouldn't limit options to just medication if other methods show promise in reducing a person's chance of reoffending. The latter being when it is only a "mental illness" because of personal discomfort.

    I say "reoffending" because the distinction between someone who is so-called mentally ill and a criminal offender is false UNLESS we adopt cartesian dualism. The modern consensus is monistic materialism. To be consistent then every human action is predicated on brain chemistry and hence saying one person is mentally ill and another person is just a criminal is a distinction without a difference. Mental institutions (the coercive ones anyways, for things not putting others in jeopardy we should have separate treatment facilities) should be merged with prisons, though I prefer rehabilitative justice models so it would be quite humane to all involved.

    As to meaning and value being subjective, simply put society could define "mental illness" and "mental wellness" any which way. There is no objective criteria (criteria independent of people's values) to distinguish it. All neuroscience can do is show us the typical differences between people who behave one way and people who behave another way. That doesn't tell us what ways are the right ways and which ones are wrong. That's a judgment that human beings have to make. The subjectivity of it all is even more of a reason to allow the person a choice, they can take the pill see a therapist or what ever other "parole conditions" have been determined or stay institutionalized.

  • A violation of autonomy.

    Anyone can refuse medicine or treatment if they feel that it isn't right for them, that is a given, and that must be respected.

    Those who are mentally ill, whether 'severely' or not, are already treated like nothing more than animals who cannot make their own choices for themselves. An example of this in real life is a pregnant woman with bipolar disorder, who was forcibly sedated and given a c-section against her will, and her child handed over to social services. This was over a panic attack after she had stopped her medication, which she had stopped in order to ensure her baby's health.

    The reason many people who are mentally ill don't seek out treatment is because of the horrific stigma that comes up with a diagnoses and because of the fear that they will be deemed mentally unfit and forced to undergo treatments they never wanted, while their real wants and needs are ignored due to them supposedly 'not having the capacity to choose for themselves.'

    In advocating forced medication, we are once again (because it happens all the time, there is no denying that) limiting the options of a patient and treating them as a lesser being. It's not new of course, but it needs to stop.

  • No, medication is known to often cause more problems then good

    And there is no real evidence that in the majority of cases medication actually is more beneficial to the patient than no medication.

    What there should be is mandatory psychotherapy to get these patients to a stable state of mind.

    The only time that a patient should ever take these mind-numbing medications is if they are a danger to others.

  • I should know i was forced fed medication for 16 years without my consent. Not my idea of fun.

    Forcing one to take medication is no better than Nazis forcing death upon people, or white farm owners forcing Africans into slavery. It completely violates our rights as american citizens to be free from oppression and tyranny and in a roundabout way the medication is its own form of slavery. So the next time you need help with depression or insomnia think about how much you will enjoy being strapped to a chair like an animal and forced fed drugs like a prisoner on hunger strike.

  • It is a violation of your civil rights.

    I like fairness, truth. If a person is not a threat to society or themselves they should not be forced to take medicine. You have no right to say anybody who hasn't harmed anyone has a mental illness. I think anybody who cares about text messages is a loser. I don't even bother responding to YouTube replies of people I don't know. If a person has never threatened or used racial slurs in their text messages or YouTube comments they should not be attacked by anyone over it. I am a good person. I care about people. I would defend the people who were attacked over their YouTube comments or text messages. . I started to complain a lot when I was failed out of westchester community college. I was admitted to NY Presbyterian. My classmates who got higher grades than me aren't smarter than me. I complained after I was forced to take medicine and told I was stupid for receiving failing grades in school. I care about injustice that is done on any individual. I do not make fun of others unless they deserve to be made fun of. I think any fair person would agree with my perception. There is no such thing as sameness. I think illegal actions can be agreed amongst everyone. How can you kill somebody who has never harmed, stolen, made fun of or had a contrary effect on your life in anyway. I know things you should immediately accept someone's apology over. It's not right how everything is given. I like it when people have the chance to show their communities why they should make the cut. There is a lot diversity in america. I am smart. Do not criticize me. . I like being surrounded by people who would never have a negative effect on my mood. I hope human overpopulation is not a problem on earth. I am a caring person. I do believe in the death penalty. I hate people who call them self atheist. I can't give someone the death penalty unless I am sure they've committed the crime they are being charged for.

  • Violation Of Basic Human Rights

    There are very few if any circumstances when someone should be forced to take medication against their will. Perhaps if they are completely incapable of making a decision for themselves, but that is not the scenario which is presented to us here.

    The next step is forcing people without mental illness to take medication in order to improve them as well.

  • No it isn't effective

    I was forced to take medicine. But I was also forced to get a job and figure out my future. My family claimed I was getting better because of the medicine. But I was less symptomatic before hand. I was also told if I didn't get my act together I wouldn't receive help for my home , food and anything else I needed. I don't think being forced medicine helps in these situations.

  • It's a violation of personal dignity and human rights

    I am early on in forming my opinions about this but I believe that we have a basic, immutable, inalienable right to decide what we put in our bodies and how we use them, in accordance with the law and providing that we are not causing harm to others or risking our lives. (I'm not advocating drug legalisation here).

    Medication can be tremendously helpful but also can lead to feeling disempowered, dependent and drained by side-effects that sap the energy required to take proactive steps in fixing the root causes and negative coping mechanisms that people build up.

    It should be left up to the patient to decide whether they engage with medication unless perhaps in extreme emergencies when one-off coercive medication could be possibly be warranted.

  • What if someone is misdiagnosed?

    I went on medications 3 years ago for anxiety through my school Doctor so I could do better on tests and get through college. She prescribed me lamotrigine to help regulate my mood and be less anxious. I was convinced that I was doing better in school even though I really wasn't. I became more moody and irritable on my medication. I graduated college and went to see a different doctor and he claimed I was bipolar and needed to be on my medication for a life time because otherwise I am a threat to myself and others. He didn't even ask me questions about my primary diagnosis or ask me about any of the symptoms I was having. Whenever I told him what side effects I have had from being on medication he claimed it was because I am bipolar. When I told him my diagnosis with the school Doctor was anxiety and not bipolar he laughed in my face. I decided to taper off my medications without his consent and now I feel a lot better my mood is a lot more stable and i feel less moody and emotional. My family and friends say the same thing as well. I have learned to manage my anxiety better by eating healthier, getting exercise, meeting new people, and getting more involved in healthy activities. I feel a lot of people are misdiagnosied with mental illnesses and putting them on medications makes their "illness" worse. People should have a right to decide if medications are for them or if they have found alternative ways to cope. Psychiatrist seem to care more about the money then how their patient is feeling. I feel like psychiatrist shouldn't just diagnosis patients and medicate them without doing proper tests and evaluations. They should also teach their patients that there are other alternatives besides medications and warn them about the potential side effects with medications.

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