68 Fordham L. Rev. 2401 (1999-2000)
Waging a War on Drugs: Administering a Lethal Dose to Kendra's Law

handle is hein.journals/flr68 and id is 2419 raw text is: WAGING A WAR ON DRUGS:
ADMINISTERING A LETHAL DOSE TO KENDRA'S LAW
Jennifer Gutterman
INTRODUCTION
Imagine that you are sitting home watching television with your
family. You hear a knock at your door and think it is odd that
someone is knocking this late at night. You answer the door and it's
a police officer coming to take you to a psychiatric hospital. You
have not hurt anyone. Your family is safe and happy. The only
crime you committed was that you did not want to continue to live
with the side effects of Lithium and you chose to stop taking the
drug prescribed for your bi-polar disorder.
Does this sound incredulous? Hardly.'
People often fear what they do not understand, and for many
individuals, mental illness falls into this category.-    This fear is
amplified by highly publicized incidents of violent acts committed by
people with mental illnesses.'      The New     York legislature was
propelled into action recently when, on two separate occasions,
unmedicated mental patients violently assaulted innocent bystanders.!
On January 3, 1999, after terminating his medication, Andrew
Goldstein, a diagnosed schizophrenic,5 pushed thirty-two-year-old
1. Elaine Sutton Mbionwu, Involuntari' Outpatient Commitnent: If It Isn't
Voluntary... Maybe It Isn't Treatment, 4 Protection & Advocacy Systems News 1, 1
(Winter, 1999) <http://Nvwv.protectionandadvocacy.com/PANeCSWin99.htm>.
2 See American Psychiatric Association, Public Information: Violence and
Mental Illness (visited Jan. 22, 2000) <http'/.www.psych.orglpsychihtdocstpublic-info!
violen-l.htm>. This fear is embellished by movies like Psycho! or splashy news
accounts of serial killer trials where the word 'insane' . . . is heard often. Id.
3. See Lisa Anderson, Attacks Spur Call to Force Medications, Chi. Trib., June 1,
1999, at 1; Jack Guastaferro, Forced Treatment Doesn't Help People Battling Mental
Illness, Buffalo News, March 19, 1999, at 2B; Carolyn Thompson. Need Seen to Plug
Holes in Care of Mentally Ill, Associated Press Newsvires, Feb. 22, 1999, at 1.
4. See Anderson, supra note 3.
5. The term schizophrenia means splitting of the mind, and involves an
imbalance between emotional reactions and the thought content associated wvith the
emotions. Dennis E. Cichon, The Right to Just Say No. A Histor' and Analysis of
the Right to Refuse Antipsychotic Drugs, 53 La. L. Rev. 2_83, 292 (1992).
Schizophrenia is a condition that splits apart the normal integrated functioning of
intellect, emotion, and behavior. Barry Blackwell, Schizophrenia and Neuroleptic
Drugs: A Biopsychosocial Perspective, in Refusing Treatment in Mental Health
Institutions-Values in Conflict 4 (A. Edward Doudera & Judith P. Swazey eds.,
1982).

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