Can A Spouse Or Other Close Family Member Compel An Adult To Receive Treatment For Depression Against His Or Her Will?

Question: Can a spouse or other close family member compel an adult to receive treatment for depression against his or her will?

Answer: A family member or a friend can't compel someone to psychiatric treatment against their will. People have the right to refuse treatment.

But if someone is in imminent danger to themselves, not thinking correctly, is thinking about self-harm, you have the right to call the authorities to get them to a hospital for an evaluation.

And once in the hospital, ultimately a judge has the right to determine whether someone can be treated against their will or not. It's not done very often and people do have a right to refuse treatment.

But in unusual cases where someone is not thinking correctly, if they're delusional or psychotic and in danger of self-harm in some way from suicide or just neglect from lack of self-care, a judge can compel someone to stay in the hospital and get the proper treatment they need.

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