pharmacotherapeutic properties of antipsychotic medications— their actions, therapeutic uses, benefits, adverse effects, contraindications, and risks—are quintessentially medical topics, even when the situations and contexts in which doctors prescribe or recommend their use raise legal questions. Frequently, however, the legal database (that is, published opinions, legislation, regulation, and law review articles) is the principal or sole information source cited and consulted by lawyers, judges, and scholars who write about these drugs and make decisions concerning the persons that may have to take them. What often results is the perpetuation of mistaken, outdated, distorted, biased, contradictory,
or just plain foolish ideas about psychotic disorders, the actions and adverse effects of antipsychotic drugs, and physicians’ goals in treating patients with psychoses. At the same time, the emerging scientific understanding of psychotic disorders and the role drugs play in their treatment remains misunderstood and underappreciated.
Unbuckling the “Chemical Straitjacket”: The Legal Significance of Recent Advances in the Pharmacological Treatment of Psychosis,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol39/iss4/2