Oregon Court Affirms Forced Medication for Defendants


The Oregon Supreme Court ruled yesterday that judges can force criminal defendants to take antipsychotic medication in an effort to make them competent for trial.  “They will pull down their pants and stick a needle in their buttocks,” said Attorney Laura Graser. “I think the terror of having that procedure would be the same for you or me as it would be for an ill person. Really terrifying. The word ‘rape’ doesn’t seem too strong.”

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Of further interest:
State of Oregon v. James Michael Francis Lopes (Oregon Supreme Court Ruling)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. This is terrible. Here, the court is driving the holocaust of brain rape, permanent damage, ruined lives. The high probability that the drugs will damage the inmate-patient and that the drugs will be mismanaged by staff truly makes this cruel and unusual punishment. The ignorance among the judiciary, which is due to the prevailing false narrative re: the action of psychotropics, renders our judges incapable of making informed decisions.. They need a truth injection. Once forced injections are allowed in jails, the floodgates will be opened and we can expect the criteria for forced drugging to become ever lower and subjective with neglect of the patient’s well-being, right to self-determination and future potential. Suppose the crime is only vandalism or breaking and entering or harassment,does that mean that a mentally ill person must be forced to play psychotropic roulette? What if the patient/inmate is found to be “one of the unlucky ones” as I was told was the case for our loved one, meaning that she has terrible reactions to the toxic meds? (The real meaning behind that pronouncement is that insurance companies and best practices do not offer a humane alternative as once could be found in a different age and exists even now in Finland, etc.) And you can be sure that the drugging will be executed by those who will have even less experience and knowledge than staff in hospitals who, even there, cannot recognize delirium as a sign of impending Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, even when the parent who has informed himself of the symptoms and who knows the patient best, pleads with the nurse to call the doctor to reduce the medication!!!! Jails strictly limit visitation. There will never be the benefit to the inmate of a surprise visit by caring family to see for themselves how the inmate is faring. There will be a sharp rise in deaths of the incarcerated with mental illness. How alarming to see the systemic entrenchment of cruel and barbaric practices. The exploitative and violent nature of man rages on.

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