Court: Suspects can be ordered to take meds

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled that state judges can force defendants to take medication against their will so that they can stand trial.

The ruling handed down Thursday underscores the effect of a similar U.S. Supreme Court ruling and sets up a political battle over the rights of criminal suspects who are also patients committed to a mental hospital.

The state Supreme Court says judges must apply a four-factor test in determining whether to force medication on a suspect who is found mentally unfit to stand trial.

The judges have to deem the medication appropriate and unlikely to have significant side effects. They must also determine there is no alternative and the medication furthers government interests.

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