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Abstract

Involuntary psychiatric treatment occurs under such conditions as the medicating or placing in treatment facilities of patients without their consent. Such involuntary treatment has been litigated in the Supreme Court; however, the Court’s rulings have been applied to incarcerated persons, with the notable exception of the 1975 ruling in O’Connor v. Donaldson, a case argued as a civil rights violation. Using O’Connor v. Donaldson as a framework, this paper argues that forcing non- violent psychiatric patients to take medication, or be otherwise treated against their will, is an unethical practice and must be discontinued. This practice of forcible treatment violates the due process rights of patients, and is a violation of accepted medical ethics.