"It's important to advocate for them, not to prevent them from being medicated, but to make sure that the treatement is in their best interest, is what they would have wanted, and does not violate their rights. Where we live in Massachusetts (USA), anyone is mentally unable to make these decisions for themselves has to have a petition brought before the court (called a Rogers Affidavit) permitting what is known as ""substituted judgment""... that is, allowing someone else to make that decision for them. What is covered in that affidavit is whether or not the medication is beneficial, what are the risks of taking it (possible negative effects), does it violate the person's religion or any wishes they might have expressed while they were cogent or lucid, and what are the possible negative effects if the medication is not given. Above all, a patient's rights have to be respected. You have a right to not take medication if you would not wish to, even if that medication would help you medically and physically. As long as you are not a danger to yourself or others, a court will not force you to be medicated. It's only if you are a serious threat to your own or someone else's physical safety that you may be ordered to be medicated or confined to protect you or others. Source(s): Retired nurse, retired from a career in forensics, previously taught a variety of sciences including chemistry, biology, microbiology, pathophysiology, and infectious disease control; currently manage a psychiatry practice"