Steele v. Hamilton County Community Mental Health Board (2000)

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STEELE V. HAMILTON CTY. COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH BD. Name Institution Abstract For a long time, the rights of a patient remanded in a mental institution or an ordinary prison were ignored, and the state had the ability to enforce whatever treatment it saw fit. The ill treatment of the involuntarily incarcerated inmates led to numerous legal debates, especially with patients increasingly suing various state bodies that tried to treat them against their will. Furthermore, those who were under forced medication sought to challenge their treatment. In response, the courts were responsible for enforcing and interpreting various legal provisions in regards to the treatment of the involuntarily committed. In this regard, the landmark case, Steele v Hamilton County contributed significantly in identifying the due process to be followed in the attempt to establish whether a patient posed any danger to the public. Furthermore, other legal issues that were addressed include the need for independent assessments of the patient and the need for patient privacy to be respected. This research explores the various legal issues that were raised and how the court responded to each of them. Introduction Over the years, numerous cases have explored “the right of a person who is involuntarily incarcerated” to reject treatment on various grounds. Also, numerous precedents have been set by either, the state courts of appeal or the Supreme Court of America, asserting the right of persons who are considered mentally unstable to determine whether they can be treated with antipsychotics (Merino, 2011). Further complicating this issue is the need for medical practitioners to prioritize

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