APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon.
CORNELIUS J. COLLINS, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE LINN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Roger Love, respondent, appeals the trial court's decision finding him to be a person in need of mental treatment and committing him to the Chester Mental Health Center. Respondent contends that the State failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he was a person in need of mental treatment and required commitment.
On February 20, 1975, a representative of the Department of Mental Health filed a petition for the hospitalization of respondent. The petition alleged that respondent was a person in need of mental treatment as defined by section 1-11 of the Mental Health Code. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 91 1/2, par. 1-11.) *fn1 On the same day, a "certificate of need for hospitalization" was filed by a licensed psychiatrist, Dr. Jewett Goldsmith. The next day, a second "certificate of need for hospitalization" was filed by another licensed psychiatrist, Dr. Basil Siomopoulos.
On March 7, 1975, a hearing was held before the Honorable Cornelius J. Collins at the Illinois Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Siomopoulos and Dr. Goldsmith testified that each had conducted a formal psychiatric interview of respondent and diagnosed him as a chronic schizophrenic. Each psychiatrist concluded that respondent was unable to care for himself and was in need of mental treatment.
Dr. Siomopoulos based his conclusion, in part, on the fact that in addition to being mentally ill, respondent suffered from a chronic case of tuberculosis. While Dr. Siomopoulos acknowledged that he was unaware of any link between schizophrenia and tuberculosis, he asserted that respondent's contraction of the physical illness caused him to doubt respondent's present ability to provide himself with the necessary nutrients to maintain good health. Furthermore, Dr. Siomopoulos stated that respondent was unable to hold a job, communicate with others, or function meaningfully in the community.
When asked whether the fact that respondent lived on his own from 1971 to 1974 indicated that respondent could manage his own affairs and care for himself, Dr. Siomopoulos answered that he was unable to make a judgment about respondent's mental status of a few years before. Rather, Dr. Siomopoulos asserted that based upon respondent's current mental status, respondent would presently be unable to care for himself.
Dr. Goldsmith also expressed doubt about respondent's present ability to care for himself, even though Dr. Goldsmith agreed with counsel for respondent that the fact that respondent lived on his own for a few years might superficially indicate that respondent at one time could care for his basic needs and well being. However, Dr. Goldsmith asserted that respondent showed "great disturbance of thought content and disturbance of thinking ability" which could adversely affect respondent's present ability to care for his basic needs or to seek treatment for his tuberculosis.
Dr. Goldsmith pointed to specific factors which illustrated respondent's chronic thought disorder. Dr. Goldsmith testified as to respondent's unfounded belief that respondent had won money in a magazine contest and respondent's complaint that the staff of a mental hospital had withheld the prize from him; respondent's feeling that "wind blew into his head," causing him to put paper in front of his ear to keep the wind from blowing through; and respondent's conviction that "there was something wrong with his right foot that made dogs want to suck that foot."
In addition Dr. Goldsmith related that respondent displayed great hostility towards respondent's father and brother, believing that they were partly responsible for an incident at a mental hospital where respondent claimed he had been wrapped in a blanket and beaten and kicked. Dr. Goldsmith testified that respondent expressed thoughts of killing his father and brother. However, Dr. Goldsmith observed that "this was all told in a vague and somewhat irrelevant way which made it difficult to follow." Dr. Goldsmith concluded that he could "see him [respondent] in certain situations as perhaps if he has contact with his family being potentially dangerous to him [sic]."
After the doctors testified, respondent was asked if he agreed with their findings and recommendations. In response, respondent referred to an operation which he felt had been performed against his will. *fn2 Because of this past experience, respondent related that he did not want to go back to the hospital. Respondent further volunteered that he did not have an alcohol or drug problem. Respondent also stated that after he escaped from Manteno State Hospital, he supported himself by day labor work. He rented a room and ate satisfactorily. Respondent said he was not aware of his tuberculosis and explained that he "could not come to a conclusion whether it came from alcohol. I did not have a drug problem, and I eliminated alcohol and drugs while I was in society."
At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Collins found respondent to be in need of mental treatment and ordered him committed to ...