- Alaska Statutes.
- Title 47. Welfare, Social Services and Institutions
- Chapter 30. Mental Health
- Section 839. Court-Ordered Administration of Medication.
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AS 47.30.839. Court-Ordered Administration of Medication.
- (a) An evaluation facility or designated treatment facility may use the procedures described in this section to obtain
court approval of administration of psychotropic medication if
- (1) there have been, or it appears that there will be, repeated crisis situations as described in AS 47.30.838
(a)(1) and the facility wishes to use psychotropic medication in future crisis situations; or
- (2) the facility wishes to use psychotropic medication in a noncrisis situation and has reason to believe the patient is
incapable of giving informed consent.
- (b) An evaluation facility or designated treatment facility may seek court approval for administration of psychotropic
medication to a patient by filing a petition with the court, requesting a hearing on the capacity of the person to give
- (c) A patient who is the subject of a petition under (b) of this section is entitled to an attorney to represent the
patient at the hearing. If the patient cannot afford an attorney, the court shall direct the Public Defender Agency to
provide an attorney. The court may, upon request of the patient's attorney, direct the office of public advocacy to
provide a guardian ad litem for the patient.
- (d) Upon the filing of a petition under (b) of this section, the court shall direct the office of public advocacy to
provide a visitor to assist the court in investigating the issue of whether the patient has the capacity to give or
withhold informed consent to the administration of psychotropic medication. The visitor shall gather pertinent
information and present it to the court in written or oral form at the hearing. The information must include
documentation of the following:
- (1) the patient's responses to a capacity assessment instrument administered at the request of the visitor;
- (2) any expressed wishes of the patient regarding medication, including wishes that may have been expressed in a power of
attorney, a living will, an advance health care directive under AS 13.52, or oral statements of the patient, including conversations
with relatives and friends that are significant persons in the patient's life as those conversations are remembered by
the relatives and friends; oral statements of the patient should be accompanied by a description of the circumstances
under which the patient made the statements, when possible.
- (e) Within 72 hours after the filing of a petition under (b) of this section, the court shall hold a hearing to determine
the patient's capacity to give or withhold informed consent as described in AS 47.30.837 and the patient's capacity to give or withhold
informed consent at the time of previously expressed wishes regarding medication if previously expressed wishes are
documented under (d)(2) of this section. The court shall consider all evidence presented at the hearing, including
evidence presented by the guardian ad litem, the petitioner, the visitor, and the patient. The patient's attorney may
cross-examine any witness, including the guardian ad litem and the visitor.
- (f) If the court determines that the patient is competent to provide informed consent, the court shall order the facility
to honor the patient's decision about the use of psychotropic medication.
- (g) If the court determines that the patient is not competent to provide informed consent and, by clear and convincing
evidence, was not competent to provide informed consent at the time of previously expressed wishes documented under
(d)(2) of this section, the court shall approve the facility's proposed use of psychotropic medication. The court's
approval under this subsection applies to the patient's initial period of commitment if the decision is made during
that time period. If the decision is made during a period for which the initial commitment has been extended, the
court's approval under this subsection applies to the period for which commitment is extended.
- (h) If an evaluation facility or designated treatment facility wishes to continue the use of psychotropic medication
without the patient's consent during a period of commitment that occurs after the period in which the court's approval
was obtained, the facility shall file a request to continue the medication when it files the petition to continue the
patient's commitment. The court that determines whether commitment shall continue shall also determine whether the
patient continues to lack the capacity to give or withhold informed consent by following the procedures described in
(b) - (e) of this section. The reports prepared for a previous hearing under (e) of this section are admissible in the
hearing held for purposes of this subsection, except that they must be updated by the visitor and the guardian ad
- (i) If a patient for whom a court has approved medication under this section regains competency at any time during the
period of the patient's commitment and gives informed consent to the continuation of medication, the evaluation
facility or designated treatment facility shall document the patient's consent in the patient's file in writing.
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