Law Project for Psychiatric Rights
James B. Gottstein, Esq.
406 G Street, Suite 206
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
Attorney for Plaintiff
IN THE SUPERIOR COURT FOR THE STATE OF ALASKA
THIRD JUDICIAL DISTRICT AT ANCHORAGE
ALASKA PSYCHIATRIC INSTITUTE, )
Case No. 3AN- 04-________CI
(For Declaratory and Injunctive Relief)
February 21, 2004 Draft
COMES NOW, _________________________, Plaintiff in the above entitled action, and alleges as follows:
A. Plaintiff is a resident of the state of Alaska and is entitled to bring this action.
B. Plaintiff has been prescribed psychiatric medications by the Alaska Psychiatric Institute.
C. Defendant Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API) is an inpatient psychiatric facility owned and operated by the State of Alaska and is an evaluation and designated treatment facility within the meaning of AS 47.30.836.
D. AS 47.30.836 prohibits defendant from administering psychotropic medication to a patient in a non-crisis situation unless the patient:
(1) has the capacity to give informed consent to the medication, as described in AS 47.30.837 , and gives that consent; the facility shall document the consent in the patient's medical chart;
(2) authorized the use of psychotropic medication in a declaration properly executed under AS 47.30.950 - 47.30.980 or authorized an attorney-in-fact to consent to the use of psychotropic medication for the patient and the attorney-in-fact does consent; or
(3) is determined by a court to lack the capacity to give informed consent to the medication and the court approves use of the medication under AS 47.30.839 .
E. Under AS 47.30.837(a) A patient has the capacity to give informed consent for purposes of AS 47.30.836 if the patient is competent to make mental health or medical treatment decisions and the consent is voluntary and informed.
F. Under AS 47.30.837(d)(2), in order to obtain informed consent API must give the patient all information that is material to the patient's decision to give or withhold consent, including:
1. an explanation of the patient's diagnosis and prognosis, or their predominant symptoms, with and without the medication;
2. information about the proposed medication, its purpose, the method of its administration, the recommended ranges of dosages, possible side effects and benefits, ways to treat side effects, and risks of other conditions, such as tardive dyskinesia;
3. a review of the patient's history, including medication history and previous side effects from medication;
4. an explanation of interactions with other drugs, including over-the-counter drugs, street drugs, and alcohol; and
5. information about alternative treatments and their risks, side effects, and benefits, including the risks of nontreatment.
G. Under AS 47.30.837(d)(3) "voluntary" means having genuine freedom of choice; a choice may be encouraged and remain voluntary, but consent obtained by using force, threats, or direct or indirect coercion is not voluntary.
H. When at API, Plaintiff was administered psychotropic medication and not accurately given the information required under AS 47.30.837(d)(2).
I. Upon information and belief, API never accurately gives patients the information required under AS 47.30.837(d)(2).
J. In the alternative, upon information and belief, API rarely gives patients the information required under AS 47.30.837(d)(2) accurately.
K. When at API, Plaintiff's consent to the administration of psychotropic medications was not voluntary within the meaning of AS 47.30.837(d)(3).
L. Upon information and belief, API regularly obtains acquiescence to the administration of psychotropic medication by using force, threats, or direct or indirect coercion in violation of AS 47.30.837(d)(3).
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for relief as follows:
3. Actual costs and actual reasonable attorneys fees.
4. For other such relief as this Court may deem just and equitable in these circumstances.
Dated this ____ day of _______, 2004 at Anchorage, Alaska.
LAW PROJECT FOR PSYCHIATRIC RIGHTS
James B. Gottstein, Esq.
Alaska Bar No. 7811100