The People of the State of Colorado, Petitioner-Appellee, In the Interest of Larry Wayne Marquardt, Respondent-Appellant
County District Court No. 14MH8. Honorable William D.
J. Styduhar, County Attorney, David A. Roth, Special
Assistant County Attorney, Pueblo, Colorado, for
Firm of John L. Rice, John L. Rice, Pueblo, Colorado, for
by JUDGE ASHBY. Richman, J., concurs. Casebolt, J., concurs
in part and dissents in part.
[¶1] Respondent, Larry Wayne Marquardt,
appeals from the trial court's order authorizing the
involuntary administration to him of antipsychotic
medication. We reverse.
[¶2] Mr. Marquardt was committed to the
Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP) after
having been found not guilty by reason of insanity in a
criminal case. He has been diagnosed with schizoaffective
disorder, bipolar type, with prominent paranoia.
[¶3] Since arriving at CMHIP, Mr. Marquardt
has been voluntarily taking ten milligrams of Saphris, an
antipsychotic medication, once a day. The People petitioned
the court to slowly increase the dosage to 20 milligrams per
day because he refused to take any dosage above 10 milligrams
per day, and his psychiatrist felt that the medication was
not effective at that dosage.
[¶4] After a hearing, at which both the
psychiatrist and Mr. Marquardt testified, the court ordered
that the dosage of this medication could be increased over
[¶5] Mr. Marquardt appeals.
[¶6] Mr. Marquardt contends that the trial
court erred in applying the elements established in
People v. Medina, 705 P.2d 961 (Colo. 1985) to the
facts of this case.
[¶7] As a matter of first impression, we
must first decide whether Medina is applicable to a
nonemergency request to increase antipsychotic medication
dosage over a patient's objection. We conclude that it
is. We also agree with Mr. Marquardt that the trial court
applied an incorrect legal standard in deciding that the
evidence presented supported a finding under Medina
that an increased dose of his antipsychotic medication is
necessary to prevent a significant and likely long-term
deterioration in his mental condition.
[¶8] In Medina, the supreme court
found that a patient has a right under both common law and
Colorado's statutory scheme relating to involuntary
commitment to refuse unwanted treatment that could result in
serious and permanent disabilities. Id. at 971. The
court noted that the common law had long protected a
person's right to personal autonomy and bodily integrity.
This protection was founded upon the principle that the
individual is best suited to weigh the risks and benefits of
treatment and to decide what the best course of treatment is
for him or her. Id. at 968.
[¶9] However, the Medina court held
that an involuntarily committed patient's right to
autonomy and bodily integrity is not absolute. There are
legitimate state interests in providing care to the patient