Given the debilitating nature of psychosis, those affected are often unable to give informed consent about taking the medication. A crucial question is whether civil or criminal authorities can force the individual to take antipsychotic medication and under what circumstances this should be permitted. This review will focus on the current legal status of involuntary treatment with antipsychotics in various patient populations. The constitutional issues involved will be considered in light of both the patient's and the civil or criminal institution's rights and duties. A review of the literature suggests there is a critical need for a balanced position on this controversial medical and legal issue. Before attempting to negotiate the legal landscape, however, it is necessary to describe the drugs themselves. No intelligent decision can be made without an understanding of what these chemicals do.
Gerald J. Schaefer, Drug-Induced Alteration of Psychotic Behavior: Who Benefits?, 9 J.L. & Health 43 (1994-1995)