When Public Health Meets the Judiciary

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 31 (S4):54-55 (2003)
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The conflict between courts and medicine is best shown in the mental health cases requiring judgment of whether a person should be confined, and whether they should be medicated or left free to decide for themselves. In such cases, deprivation of liberty for noncriminal offenders is at question, but if they are released, they may be exposed to injury or injure others. “Clear and convincing” evidence is hard to prove in such cases.The TOPOFF 2 terrorism preparedness exercise was two years in planning, but the courts were involved only seven days before the exercise. Judge Murphy was put in charge of the Circuit Court building and was asked to stop all court proceedings to stop people from going into a building that might have been contaminated.



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