BILL BASS, Justice.
The trial court issued an order authorizing the administration of psychoactive medications to Appellant, R.L.J., a patient committed to a mental health facility under Chapter 46B of the code of criminal procedure.
Appellant was found incompetent to stand trial and was committed to the Rusk State Hospital for examination and treatment with the specific objective of his attaining competency. Appellant refused to take the medication prescribed for his condition. He denied he was mentally ill and needed medication. Ultimately, he refused to discuss medications. On March 22, 2017, his treating physician, Dr. Stephen Poplar, signed an application to order the administration of psychoactive medications. After a hearing on April 4, 2017, the court granted the order. This appeal followed.
SUFFICIENCY OF THE EVIDENCE
In his sole issue, Appellant challenges the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence to support the trial court's order authorizing the administration of psychoactive medication.
Standard of Review
The trial court must find by clear and convincing evidence the statutory requisites for its order. TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ANN. § 574.106(a-1) (West 2017). Clear and convincing evidence is that degree of proof which will produce in the mind of the trier of fact a firm belief or conviction as to the truth of the allegations sought to be established.
In reviewing a legal sufficiency claim, we look at all the evidence in the light most favorable to the finding to determine whether a reasonable trier of fact could have formed a firm belief or conviction that its finding was true.
A trial court may issue an order authorizing the administration of one or more classes of psychoactive medications to a patient who is under a court order to receive inpatient mental health services. TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ANN. § 574.106(a)(1) (West 2017). The court may issue an order under this section only if it finds by clear and convincing evidence after a hearing that (1) the patient lacks the capacity to make a decision regarding the administration of the proposed medication, and (2) treatment with the proposed medication is in the best interest of the patient.
In making its findings, the trial court shall consider (1) the patient's expressed preferences regarding treatment with psychoactive medication, (2) the patient's religious beliefs, (3) the risks and benefits, from the perspective of the patient, of taking psychoactive medication, (4) the consequences to the patient if the psychoactive medication is not administered, (5) the prognosis for the patient if treated with psychoactive medication, (6) alternative, less intrusive treatments that are likely to produce the same results as treatment with psychoactive medication, and (7) less intrusive treatments likely to secure the patient's agreement to take the psychoactive medication. TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ANN. § 574.106(b) (West 2017).
Dr. Poplar testified that Appellant suffers from schizophrenia. According to Dr. Poplar, Appellant's mental illness manifests itself in several ways. He believes the legal system is colluding against him, including his lawyer and the judge. He told Dr. Poplar that when this is over he intends to put the judge in jail. He believes that Appellant has an extrasensory, nonverbal ability to communicate with other people. Dr. Poplar further testified that Appellant believes he has a special relationship with God that will keep him from being punished.
Dr. Poplar explained that Appellant does not believe he has a mental illness. Dr. Poplar testified that he does not believe that Appellant can rationally weigh the benefits and risks of taking the recommended medication. He refused to take the recommended medication and ultimately refused to even discuss medication with Dr. Poplar.
In the sworn application entered in evidence, Dr. Poplar stated that the administration of psychoactive medications was the correct course of treatment for Appellant and that the benefits of psychoactive medication outweighed the risks. Dr. Poplar further stated that medical alternatives to psychoactive medications had been considered and that no alternative treatment would be as effective as psychoactive medication in restoring Appellant's competency.
In his brief testimony, Appellant told the court "ain't nothing wrong with me." Accordingly, he did not see a need to take medication. He also believed that he is legally competent to stand trial.
In reviewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the trial court's findings, we conclude that a reasonable trier of fact could have formed a firm belief or conviction that its findings were true. See
Having overruled Appellant's sole issue, the trial court's order authorizing the administration of psychoactive medications is
THIS CAUSE came to be heard on the appellate record and briefs filed herein, and the same being considered, it is the opinion of this court that there was no error in the trial court's order authorizing the administration of psychoactive medications.
It is therefore ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that the order of the court below authorizing the administration of psychoactive medications