Vt. gov’s administration pushes back on treatment

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont legislative committee again has rejected the Shumlin administration’s request to make it easier to give involuntary treatments to some mentally ill patients.

The Legislature’s Committee on Administrative Rules on Thursday voted 6-2 to oppose a request for reconsideration of a vote it had taken previously.

Under the change, advanced-practice registered nurses and physician assistants could order patients to be medicated against their will. Current rules require a doctor to meet with the patient before that happens.

The Department of Mental Health could implement the changes without lawmakers’ approval, but that would make them more susceptible to a court challenge.

Rep. Richard Marek, a committee member, says any such change should go to the full Legislature.

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