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
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: Suggested Citation