The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 18: Health

Chapter 181: JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS

18 V.S.A. § 7624. Application for involuntary medication



§ 7624. Application for involuntary medication

(a) The Commissioner may commence an action for the involuntary medication of a person who is refusing to accept psychiatric medication and meets any one of the following six conditions:

(1) has been placed in the Commissioner's care and custody pursuant to section 7619 of this title or subsection 7621(b) of this title;

(2) has previously received treatment under an order of hospitalization and is currently under an order of nonhospitalization, including a person on an order of nonhospitalization who resides in a secure residential recovery facility;

(3) has been committed to the custody of the Commissioner of Corrections as a convicted felon and is being held in a correctional facility which is a designated facility pursuant to section 7628 of this title and for whom the Departments of Corrections and of Mental Health have determined jointly that involuntary medication would be appropriate pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 907(4)(H);

(4) has an application for involuntary treatment pending for which the Court has granted a motion to expedite pursuant to subdivision 7615(a)(2)(A)(i) of this title;

(5)(A) has an application for involuntary treatment pending;

(B) waives the right to a hearing on the application for involuntary treatment until a later date; and

(C) agrees to proceed with an involuntary medication hearing without a ruling on whether he or she is a person in need of treatment; or

(6) has had an application for involuntary treatment pending pursuant to subdivision 7615(a)(1) of this title for more than 26 days without a hearing having occurred and the treating psychiatrist certifies, based on specific behaviors and facts set forth in the certification, that in his or her professional judgment there is good cause to believe that:

(A) additional time will not result in the person establishing a therapeutic relationship with providers or regaining competence; and

(B) serious deterioration of the person's mental condition is occurring.

(b)(1) Except as provided in subdivisions (2), (3), and (4) of this subsection, an application for involuntary medication shall be filed in the Family Division of the Superior Court in the county in which the person is receiving treatment.

(2) If the application for involuntary medication is filed pursuant to subdivision (a)(4) of this section:

(A) the application shall be filed in the county in which the application for involuntary treatment is pending; and

(B) the Court shall consolidate the application for involuntary treatment with the application for involuntary medication and rule on the application for involuntary treatment before ruling on the application for involuntary medication.

(3) If the application for involuntary medication is filed pursuant to subdivisions (a)(5) or (a)(6) of this section, the application shall be filed in the county in which the application for involuntary treatment is pending.

(4) Within 72 hours of the filing of an application for involuntary medication pursuant to subdivision (a)(6) of this section, the Court shall determine, based solely upon a review of the psychiatrist's certification and any other filings, whether the requirements of that subdivision have been established. If the Court determines that the requirements of subdivision (a)(6) of this section have been established, the Court shall consolidate the application for involuntary treatment with the application for involuntary medication and hear both applications within ten days of the date that the application for involuntary medication is filed. The Court shall rule on the application for involuntary treatment before ruling on the application for involuntary medication. Subsection 7615(b) of this title shall apply to applications consolidated pursuant to this subdivision.

(c) The application shall include a certification from the treating physician, executed under penalty of perjury, that includes the following information:

(1) the nature of the person's mental illness;

(2) that the person is refusing medication proposed by the physician;

(3) that the person lacks the competence to decide to accept or refuse medication and appreciate the consequences of that decision;

(4) the necessity for involuntary medication;

(5) any proposed medication, including the method, dosage range, and length of administration for each specific medication;

(6) a statement of the risks and benefits of the proposed medications, including the likelihood and severity of adverse side effects and its effect on:

(A) the person's prognosis with and without the proposed medications; and

(B) the person's health and safety, including any pregnancy;

(7) the current relevant facts and circumstances, including any history of psychiatric treatment and medication, upon which the physician's opinion is based;

(8) what alternate treatments have been proposed by the doctor, the patient, or others, and the reasons for ruling out those alternatives, including information on the availability of any appropriate alternatives; and

(9) whether the person has executed an advance directive in accordance with the provisions of chapter 231 of this title, and the identity of the agent or agents designated by the advance directive.

(d) A copy of the advance directive, if available, shall be attached to the application. (Added 1997, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 40; 2007, No. 15, § 22; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238; 2011, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. May 17, 2012; 2013, No. 192 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 12, 25.)