Drope V Missouri Case Summary

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Title and Citation: Drope v. Missouri, 42 U.S. 162 (1975)
Type of Action: Competency to Stand Trial
Facts of the Case: In 1969, petitioner was indicted with two others for rape of petitioner’s wife. Following these allegations, the petitioner filed a motion for a continuance so that he might be further examined and receive psychiatric treatment. Although, that motion was denied and the case proceeded with trial. The petitioner’s wife testified, repeated, and confirmed that the petitioner had been acting very strange lately and she changed her mind several times before coming to the trial about whether or not to testify because the petitioner tried to kill her the Sunday prior to trial. On the second day of the trial petitioner shot himself
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Judge Johnson ruled that the right to appropriate care applied to all people civilly confined to public mental institutions. The judge also determined that there is no practical distinction between the rights of those who are mentally ill and mentally retarded. As a result, the only constitutional justification for civilly committing a mental retardate is habilitation. Once committed, a mentally retarded person also has an inviolable constitutional right to treatment and…show more content…
Rennie suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He was a reoccurring patient, but signs of this disease were not shown until he was 31 years of age. Rennie had an issue with taking his medication after he left the care of the hospital. He had persistent religious delusions, such as thinking he was Christ, and he also suffered from suicidal thoughts. Early in the month of December, Rennie became very aggressive and abusive, causing the hospital staff to feel as though his health was deteriorating. In order for hospital staff to prevent him from becoming harmful to him and others, the treatment team would give him Proxlin Decanoate, an injectable long-acting drug to help him calm down. Rennie went to federal district court to prevent the hospital from giving him any psychotropic medications in the absence of an emergency.
Contention of the Parties: The district court denied the violation of the petitioner’s constitutional right to refuse treatment. The court also issued a preliminary injunction directing New Jersey to establish an independent review process that went beyond the procedures that were already put into place by the state. Rennie’s complaint charged the defendants with violating a number of his constitutional rights. By agreement of the both parties, the litigation has focused
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