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The Dangers of Kendra’s Law

For more than 20 years, Kendra’s Law has denied people the fundamental right to determine the course of their medical treatment. The statute forces people to participate in treatment even if they don’t meet the medical criteria for involuntary hospitalization.

Kendra’s Law unconstitutionally expands the circumstances under which the State may compel people with mental health challenges to undergo treatment against their will or to participate involuntarily in mental health programs, including potential hospitalization and/or medication. The right of a person to determine his or her course of medical treatment has long been recognized as a fundamental right by the courts in this country. The time has come for New York to do away with this misguided and harmful law.

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