Let’s imagine that you are a hospitalized psychiatric patient, either voluntarily or involuntarily committed to
Let’s imagine that you are a hospitalized psychiatric patient, either voluntarily or involuntarily committed to a mental-health facility on the basis of a diagnosis of schizophrenia. You are handed your daily medication that has been prescribed by a staff psychiatrist. There has been a careful diagnosis of your mental illness and a determination that the medication is appropriate and effective in reducing your symptoms. Can you refuse to take it? Do you even have to give a reason for your refusal? If you are asked to participate in a study in which a new experimental drug is being tested against a placebo, should you be required to do so? If you signed an informed-consent form, are you mentally competent to know what you are agreeing to do? If you state that you are mentally competent but have been diagnosed as a schizophrenic, will your self-assessment be considered valid?