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Court affirms woman is ‘gravely disabled’ requiring involuntary commitment

May 23, 2014

The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to reweigh the evidence used to find a woman needed to be involuntarily committed because she was gravely disabled after claiming she was bitten by poisonous spiders in her home for the fourth time.

C.P. went to the emergency room Aug. 18, 2013, saying she had been bitten by spiders at home and the “venom” left her feeling “heavily sedated or drugged.” Doctors could not find any spider bites and referred her to psychiatry for an evaluation. She was admitted on an emergency detention. Five days later, a psychiatrist recommended C.P. be committed for 90 days to stabilize her on anti-psychotic medication. He believed she could be released sooner and treated on an outpatient basis.

C.P. doesn’t believe she has delusions or a mental illness. She is unable to live at home because of her belief about the spiders and she lost her job. The psychiatrist testified her mental illness impairs her ability to function independently and ability to take medication. The psychiatrist believed C.P. was gravely disabled at the time, requiring the commitment.

C.P. on appeal in In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of C.P., C.P. v. Community Hospital North/Gallahue Mental Health, 49A02-1309-MH-770, challenges the finding that she is “gravely disabled” as defined in I.C. 12-7-2-96, arguing there are no underlying facts that show she cannot function independently. But the judges pointed to the psychiatrist’s testimony and refused to re-weigh the evidence.
 

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