Ohio pols weigh forced mental illness treatment

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio lawmakers are weighing bills that could lead to more people with severe mental illness receiving court-ordered outpatient treatment.

The legislation clarifies that outpatient treatment is an option that judges can consider for patients along with hospitalization.

The proposals also set out more behaviors a patient must exhibit to receive court-ordered treatment, such as being unlikely to survive safely in the community without supervision.

Supporters say increasing such options makes it less likely that severely mentally ill people will end up hurting themselves or others.

Opponents say the proposal could increase the cost of mental illness treatment and strain the current system.

A tentative vote is scheduled for Wednesday in the Senate Civil Justice Committee.

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