Forced Treatment of Mentally Ill Approved in San Francisco
the MPR take:
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has approved a measure that would allow the forced treatment of mentally ill patients who meet certain criteria. California lawmakers passed the state law, known as Laura’s Law, in 2002 but individual counties can opt-out and only three other counties have adopted the measure. The law requires city health officials to offer a mental health patient voluntary treatment prior to being forced into an involuntary outpatient program and allows family members, police officers or mental health professionals to file petitions requesting court-mandated treatment. Critics are fearful that the law could further stigmatize mental illness and concerns about civil rights, resources, and costs have been raised as well.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which passes legislation for the California city and county, adopted by a vote of 9-2 a measure known as Laura's Law. Modeled after a similar involuntary treatment law passed in New York in 1999, California lawmakers passed Laura's Law in 2002 after 19-year-old Laura Wilcox was shot and killed by a mentally ill patient at a Nevada County behavioral health clinic where she was an intern.
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