In re Craig H.Annotate this Case
In 2013, Craig (age 49) executed an Illinois statutory short-form health care power of attorney, appointing his mother as his agent. In 2016, Craig was hospitalized at McFarland after being charged with burglary and found unfit to stand trial. In 2018, a McFarland psychiatrist sought to involuntarily administer psychotropic medications to Craig under the Mental Health Code, 405 ILCS 5/2-107. Craig alleged that decisions on his medical treatment rested with his agent. A psychiatrist testified that Craig was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type, when he was 25 years old and had been experiencing hallucinations with symptoms of paranoia, inability to sleep, poor impulse control, hypersexuality, physical aggression, and psychomotor agitation; Craig had no understanding of his mental illness and lacked the capacity to make rational treatment decisions. She opined that the benefits of the medications outweighed the potential risks. Without treatment, Craig was unable to live outside a hospital. Craig’s 82-year-old mother declined to consent, believing that the medications caused brain damage, made Craig “like a zombie,” and made him look “like a man without a head.”
The trial court granted the petition for involuntary administration of psychotropic medication for a period not to exceed 90 days. The appellate court and Illinois Supreme Court affirmed. The Mental Health Code, which includes strict standards for an order permitting involuntary administration of psychotropic medications, provides a narrow exception to an agent’s authority to make a principal’s health care decisions.