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In re Barry B.

April 15, 1998

IN RE BARRY B., ALLEGED TO BE A PERSON IN NEED OF INVOLUNTARY PSYCHOTROPIC MEDICATION (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE, V. BARRY B., RESPONDENT- APPELLANT).


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Thomas

No. 97--MH--196

Honorable Robert L. Janes, Judge, Presiding.

delivered the opinion of the court:

Respondent, Barry B., appeals the order of the circuit court of Kane County which granted the State's petition to involuntarily administer psychotropic medication to respondent. We affirm.

The facts relevant to our decision are briefly stated as follows. Respondent was a voluntary recipient of mental health care at the Elgin Mental Health Center (EMHC). Respondent refused to take psychotropic medication. Thus, on June 4, 1997, the State filed a petition pursuant to section 2--107.1 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code (the Code) (405 ILCS 5/1--100 et seq. (West 1996)) to involuntarily administer psychotropic medication to respondent. A hearing on the petition occurred on June 13, 1997.

The State's first witness was Dr. Leach, a psychiatrist at EMHC. Dr. Leach testified that respondent was a voluntary patient at EMHC. He interviewed respondent on two occasions and diagnosed respondent with "bipolar disorder manic severe with psychotic features," a serious mental illness. Dr. Leach further testified that respondent was delusional. Respondent told Dr. Leach that he had multiple Ph.D.s, and respondent told other people that he is God and that other people are the devil and that God has to kill the devil. Respondent threatened to kill himself and a friend and to harm his mother and grandmother.

According to Dr. Leach, respondent realized he had a right to refuse medication and was exercising that right by refusing psychotropic medication. Respondent had taken psychotropic medication, including Lithium and Tegretol, during past hospitalizations. Respondent told Dr. Leach that he did not like how he felt while on Lithium. Dr. Leach did not know whether respondent understood the available options and their advantages and disadvantages. He tried to discuss with respondent the benefits of psychotropic medication and the advantages and disadvantages of various options, but respondent refused to listen. Respondent adamantly refused to take anything that was not natural and suggested that Dr. Leach prescribe peyote or marijuana for him. Dr. Leach did not know whether respondent was delusional about medication. He stated that respondent lacked the capacity to make a reasoned decision about his medication, largely because respondent only saw risk associated with medication and no benefit.

Dr. Leach also testified that he wanted to prescribe Depacote as a mood stabilizer, Resperidone as an antipsychotic, and possibly Razepam as a sedative for respondent's mental illness. The mood stabilizer would address respondent's manic symptoms, the antipsychotic would address respondent's delusions, and the sedative would calm respondent until the mood stabilizer kicked in. Dr. Leach recommended that a liver test be performed on respondent and that the serum level of Depacote be checked.

Norma Bridle, respondent's mother, testified that respondent had been living with her the past four months. She noticed that his behavior had deteriorated over that time. He had mood swings and could not keep a job. He told her that he was God and that his friend was the devil and that he had to kill the devil. He was suicidal and threatened her. Bridle further testified that her son had been in four hospitals during the previous year. He had taken Tegretol, but quit taking it because it made him feel intoxicated. She visited respondent at EMHC, and he told her that he would never take medication again and if somebody forced him to he would have to kill them.

Leigh Ololine, a friend of respondent, testified that he had noticed changes in respondent during the past year. When respondent was previously hospitalized, he was taking Tegretol. Respondent was calmer, more rational, and less delusional. He was able to deal with things like everyone else. He stopped taking the medication when he left the hospital, and his behavior deteriorated. Respondent alternated between depressed and manic states. Ololine testified that respondent threatened members of his own family in Ololine's presence and that respondent recently threatened him.

Respondent testified in his own defense that he was a voluntary patient at EMHC. He denied threatening to kill his friend, his mother, or grandmother. He admitted that he was suicidal in the past but not at the present. Respondent further testified that he had been on medication before, that he understood the benefits of medication but that it had no benefit for him. He explained that he believed in natural remedies.

According to respondent, he had taken several psychotropic medications before, including Clonopin, Lithium, and Tegretol. One of these medications caused him to suffer vertigo, nausea, vomiting, and a feeling of intoxication. He did not like how he felt on the medication. Respondent acknowledged that Dr. Leach had discussed certain medications with him, but he had not changed his mind about their usage.

Following the testimonial evidence, the trial court enumerated the statutory elements necessary to support an order of involuntary psychotropic medication and found that the State had met its burden of proof on each point. The court then entered the preprinted order authorizing involuntary administration of psychotropic medication (including the necessary lab work and medical examinations) to respondent by such staff of the Illinois ...


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