This is a very interesting paper about the consequences of reduced use of antipsychotic medication for patients with acute psychosis. They found that patients who did refuse to receive antipsychotic medication did in fact end up having a delay in the treatment that actually helped them. As I see it, there is no doubt that antipsychotic medication is the most effective treatment for psychosis.
Link to the paper; Increased use of coercive procedures
It is a silent ongoing tragedy caused by the fact that legislators / health authorities have been fooled into restricting the use of the most effective treatment of severely disabling illnesses such as schizophrenia.
The abstract reads as follows;
Objective: Current Danish legislation imposes that compulsory admitted psychotic patients have the right to refuse antipsychotic medication, which markedly delays pertinent medical treatment.
Material and methods: In a retrospective, observational cohort study, we analyzed data from a 1-year period on 34 consecutively admitted patients with schizophrenia, who had been compulsory admitted due to need of treatment, or because they were judged to constitute an acute danger to themselves or others. We compared the use of other coercive procedures and hospitalization time.
Results: Twenty-three patients accepted to commence antipsychotic treatment immediately, and 11 patients submitted an official complaint, which significantly delayed initiation of antipsychotic treat- ment (1day ±0.9 versus 14days ±10.1, p1⁄40.002). The 11 complaining patients were subjected to 6.8 times more coercive procedures of forced sedative medication compared to the 23 patients without delay (2.7 ± 2.3 episodes versus 0.4 ± 0.7 episodes, p 1⁄4 0.007). Moreover, the treatment-delay prolonged duration of hospitalization by a factor 2.3 (73.3 ± 28.3 days versus 31.7 ± 22.0 days, p < 0.001). Conclusion: The current legislation intends to preserve patient rights and promote voluntary treat- ment alliance but may instead lead to prolonged hospitalization and increased use of other coercive measures such as forced sedative medication. Modification of current legislation may therefore be considered.