Legal Fallacies of Antipsychotic Drugs

Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, Vol. 35, p. 235, 2007

12 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2006 Last revised: 28 Mar 2008

Steven K. Erickson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

J. Richard Ciccone

University of Rochester Medical Center

Steven B. Schwarzkopf

University of Rochester

J. Steven Lamberti

University of Rochester Medical Center

Michael J. Vitacco

Mendota Mental Health Institute

Abstract

The advances of biological sciences have dramatically improved the understanding of schizophrenia and related psychotic illnesses. One of the most compelling findings is the substantial degree in which cognition is impaired in these illnesses such and the remedial effects that antipsychotic drugs have on treating these cognitive impairments. Despite these promising discoveries, legal cases and scholarship remain replete with pejorative associations in terms of antipsychotic drug action. References to antipsychotic medications as mind altering drugs and their effects as synthetic sanity misconstrue the beneficial effects these medicines have on cognition. This paper reviews the prevailing legal attitude of antipsychotic medications and contrasts these views with prevailing scientific knowledge and concludes that legal opinion is misinformed about the effects of antipsychotic medications on cognition.

Keywords: mental health law, psychiatry, criminal procedure, disability law, evidence

Suggested Citation

Erickson, Steven K. and Ciccone, J. Richard and Schwarzkopf, Steven B. and Lamberti, J. Steven and Vitacco, Michael J., Legal Fallacies of Antipsychotic Drugs. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, Vol. 35, p. 235, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=949229

Steven K. Erickson (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

J. Richard Ciccone

University of Rochester Medical Center ( email )

Rochester, NY 14627
United States

Steven B. Schwarzkopf

University of Rochester ( email )

300 Crittenden Blvd.
Rochester, NY 14627
United States

J. Steven Lamberti

University of Rochester Medical Center ( email )

Rochester, NY 14627
United States

Michael J. Vitacco

Mendota Mental Health Institute ( email )

301 Troy Drive
Madison, WI 53704
United States

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