Guardianship of John Roe

Mental Health Court

Guardianship of John Roe

Case Year: 
1992
State of Origin: 
Massachusetts

Where the mental illness of the person interferes with his/her insight and ability to recognize that they in fact have an illness, inquiry should be made into whether the person has the capacity to give informed consent to a proposed treatment.  Where a judge concludes that the ward does not and cannot appreciate the need to control this illness with antipsychotic medication the person is incapable of weighing the benefits of a treatment even if he understands the risks attendant to the plan.  An informed decision about medical treatment "requires knowledge of the available [treatment] options and the risks attendant on each." [Citing: Harnish v. Children's Hosp. Medical Center, 387 Mass. 152 , 154 (1982), citing Canterbury v. Spence, 464 F.2d 772, 780 (D.C. Cir.), cert. denied, 409 U.S. 1064 (1972)].