SF to Allow Forced Care of Mentally Ill

A measure known as Laura’s Law that would allow the forced treatment of mentally ill patients in San Francisco passed 9-2 on Tuesday night. The law is modeled after one passed by other California lawmakers after 19-year-old Laura Wilcox was shot and killed by a mentally ill patient in 2002. The passage in San Francisco triggered a quick outcry from patient-advocacy groups, with the executive director of the Mental Health Association of San Francisco declaring, “There’s no real doubt that this is a process that fosters stigma around mental illness.” The law will allow court-ordered treatment for those affected by chronic or severe mental illness who have been deemed a risk to themselves or others, or have been jailed or hospitalized more than once in three years.