Involuntary medication bill up in Vt. Senate

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Senate is expected to give final approval to a bill that would streamline the state's process for involuntary hospitalization and medication of patients with mental illness.

The Senate gave the measure preliminary approval on Wednesday by a vote of 24-6. It's up for final action on Thursday.

Backers of the measure say it will help patients by speeding judicial review of whether they should be held in a psychiatric hospital against their will.

Opponents focus on the provisions of the bill relating to involuntary medication. Some call that an invasion of personal autonomy, and say it should be done only with great deliberation.

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