Lawmakers to review forced medication changes

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A panel of Vermont lawmakers is set to review a proposal by the Shumlin administration to make it easier for mental health professionals to administer medications to patients who are refusing treatment.

The Legislature’s Administrative Rules Committee is scheduled Wednesday to consider a proposal on the topic from the state Department of Mental Health.

Vermont’s current law is said to be among the most favorable in the country to patients who do not wish to take psychiatric medications.

At issue is a rule that would change emergency uses of the drugs, allowing them to be administered without the patient first being examined by a physician. Instead, the order could be placed at the request of other mental health professionals.

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