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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:On Aug. 10, 2006, Dr. Satyajeet Lahiri filed an application for an order to administer psychoactive medication. In the application, Lahiri stated that F.H. was subject to an order dated June 16 for court ordered inpatient mental-health services under Chapter 46B of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, because she had been found incompetent to stand trial. The clerk’s record showed that F.H. was charged with criminal trespass of a building, a Class B misdemeanor. Lahiri stated that F.H. had been diagnosed with manic bipolar disorder with psychosis. Lahiri wanted the trial court to compel F.H. to take five psychoactive medications: an antidepressant, an anxoilytic/sedative/hypnotic, a mood stabilizer and two antipsychotics. Lahiri stated that F.H. refused to take the medications voluntarily and that he believed F.H. lacked the capacity to make a decision regarding administration of psychoactive medications, because she was acutely psychotic with aggressive behavior. On Aug. 15, the trial court held a hearing on the application. Lahiri testified that he was F.H.’s treating physician and that F.H. was currently under court ordered mental-health services, because she had been found incompetent to stand trial. Lahiri stated that F.H. refused to accept medications voluntarily and that he believed she lacked the capacity to decide whether to take psychoactive medications. Lahiri testified that all the medications were in the proper course of treatment and that treatment with those medications was in F.H.’s best interest. Lahiri stated that F.H. would likely benefit from the use of these medications, that the benefits outweighed the risks and that F.H.’s hospital stay would likely be shortened. Moreover, Lahiri testified that there were no less intrusive means of achieving the same or similar results. On cross examination, Lahiri admitted that the proposed medications had side effects, including mild sedation, suicidal ideations, stiffness, shaking, drooling, tardive dyskinesia, gait disturbance, nausea and stomach irritability. According to Lahiri, most of these side effects would not impair consciousness or alertness. Before closing, F.H. requested that the trial court dismiss the application based upon the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Sell v. United States, 539 U.S. 166. However, the trial court granted the application. After the court’s ruling, F.H. asked how long her stay would be. The trial court responded that F.H. would stay at the hospital until she was competent to stand trial. In an order signed on Aug. 15, 2006, the trial court authorized Lahiri to administer psychoactive medications to F.H., including antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers and anxiolytics/sedatives/hypnotics. F.H. appealed. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered. An individual has a constitutionally protected liberty interest in avoiding the involuntary administration of antipsychotic drugs, the court stated. Under Sell, the government may involuntarily administer antipsychotic drugs to a mentally ill defendant facing serious criminal charges in order to render that defendant “competent to stand trial, but only if the treatment is medically appropriate, is substantially unlikely to have side effects that may undermine the fairness of the trial, and, taking account of less intrusive alternatives, is necessary significantly to further important governmental trial-related interests.” Before antipsychotic drugs can be involuntarily administered under Sell, a court must conclude that: 1. important governmental interests are at stake; 2. involuntary medication will significantly further those concomitant state interests; 3. involuntary medication is necessary to further those state interests; and 4. administration of the drugs is medically appropriate. The court noted there was no evidence that F.H. was dangerous to herself or others. The court then sought to determine whether the involuntary administration of psychoactive drugs to render F.H. competent to stand trial was constitutionally permissible under Sell. First, the court examined if there were important governmental interests at stake that necessitated the involuntary administration of the drugs to F.H. Because F.H.’s potential punishment for the offense at issue was no more than six months of imprisonment, the crime at issue was not a “serious crime,” the court found. Thus, the court held that no important governmental interests were at stake that necessitated the involuntary administration of psychoactive drugs to render F.H. competent to stand trial. OPINION:Griffith, J.; Worthen, C.J., and Griffith and Hoyle, J.J.

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