Take Medication, Or Else.

Last night I discovered a woman of my acquaintance had been arrested under a mental inquest warrant–someone close to her (we know who it is, but to preserve this woman’s privacy, I’m concealing certain details to prevent her from being identified from this post) had gone to the police and claimed she had a mental disorder and was not taking medication for it.

From what I know, this warrant is a means to force one’s relatives to get treatment for mental disorders. You’d suppose that this would require a lot of proof, both of the diagnosis, refusal of treatment, and a danger to someone, right? Apparently not. The woman I referenced above is completely able-bodied, and has not threatened or posed a danger to anyone–but that did not prevent Louisville Metro Police from sending two squad cars to this woman’s home, arresting her, and detaining her for several hours before discovering–whoops!–she had no mental disorder.

So, apparently the word of one person is enough to get someone locked up for presumably refusing to take medication. I received a text message today, the sender said:

“Still I could see it if they claimed she was psycho or dangerous, but _____? Please!”

I responded thusly:

“I can’t. Everyone has the right to choose to take medication or not. That right is meaningless if people who have conditions for which medications are available aren’t allowed to refuse.”

I cannot describe how angry it makes me to see such blatant evidence of disregard for the rights and humanity of those of us who are differently abled–and even those who are thought to be differently abled. To know that the entire time I refused medication, I was one phone call away from being arrested, thrown in jail, committed, and forced to take medication frightens and enrages me.

Unfortunately, I cannot find any information via Google–as in, the requirements to obtain a mental inquest warrant, what happens to the person the warrant was gotten against, or if it can be challenged. This information is something that I, and the PWD community in general, need to have. But ultimately, this is something that should. not. happen. No one has the right to force medication on another. Everyone has the right to refuse medication, to refuse treatment.

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About Brittany-Ann
Brittany-Ann is a proud, self-identified feminist with fictional tendencies. She currently writes for LouisvilleKY.com and moderates at My Fault I'm Female. She smokes camels, reads Dumas, and navigates a conservative state as "one of them darn liberals."

9 Responses to Take Medication, Or Else.

  1. Pingback: Ocd Treatment |

  2. B.C. says:

    What does this say about our society – a person can now be jailed, apparently, for not taking medication, yet women across the country have ever more tightening restrictions on safe, legal abortion care. This is awful. When can we move to Canada? 🙂

    • Brittany-Ann says:

      It says we have a frightening obsession with controlling others whom we see as marginalized, that’s what. This isn’t a new thing, either. I was telling a co-worker about it last night, and she was aghast, but in the same breath, shared that she had gotten a mental inquest warrant on her daughter, because she was homeless? No big deal. It’s only a big deal, apparently, when nice, able bodied persons have things like this done to them.

      I have been thinking more and more of emigrating. But I’ve got some fight left in me, yet.

      (Oh, by the way, I substituted an ableist term in your post. Please try to avoid using common descriptors of differently abled folk as pejoratives in the future!)

  3. Brittany-Ann says:

    Nuts. I hope you understand.

  4. B.C. says:

    Oh, I’m sorry! I wasn’t thinking, and usually I’m the one tsk-ing over people who use “retard,” “gay,” and other assorted words to express dislike over a situation…I will choose my words more carefully.

    • Brittany-Ann says:

      It’s all right! No one is perfect, including me-life is a classroom. Thank you for being so receptive and open minded! So long as you try, that’s all I ask. After all, WordPress has an edit function. 🙂

      Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  5. This is so wrong. Psychiatry has been a tool of many police states. Is that where we are moving?

    I’m especially appalled at the self-righteousness of people who think they are completely entitled to force such decisions onto others. Do they realize that if we go in this direction anybody can be forced to take some kind of medication for what anybody might perceive as a defect?

    My students once suggested in class that “fat people” should be forced to pay a fine for “each extra pound”. Why not just force diet pills on us, the fat folks, then?

  6. Pingback: Americans and Psychoanalysis « Clarissa's Blog

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