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In re Application of Gracie Square Hospital

Supreme Court of New York, New York County

March 5, 2014

In the Matter of the Application of Gracie Square Hospital, Petitioner,
v.
Jesglar C., Respondent

As Corrected March 10, 2014.

Editorial Note:

This decision is subject to revision before publication in the New York reporter.

OPINION

Page 639

Alexander W. Hunter Jr., J.

The application of petitioner Gracie Square Hospital (the " hospital" ), for an order pursuant to Mental Hygiene Law § 9.60 (" Kendra's Law" ) directing assisted outpatient treatment (" AOT" ) of respondent Jesglar C., is granted.

On September 18, 2013, an AOT hearing was conducted to determine whether petitioner met its burden, by clear and convincing evidence, that respondent meets the criteria of Kendra's Law.

The treating psychiatrist of respondent, Dr. Igor Kirzhner, testified that respondent was admitted to the hospital in May of 2013 and that respondent meets the criteria for AOT. The AOT plan developed by Dr. Kirzhner provides that respondent shall: (1) meet with an assertive community treatment (" ACT" ) team; (2) submit to [985 N.Y.S.2d 834] drug testing; and (3) take a prescribed mood stabilizer and antipsychotic. For additional support, respondent shall reside in an apartment in close proximity to a family member. Dr. Kirzhner further testified that the proposed AOT plan is the least restrictive means of treating respondent and that respondent is unlikely to safely survive without it.

Respondent consented to the proposed AOT plan. Respondent understood that he would be assigned an ACT team, that he would be taking medications prescribed by his psychiatrist, and that he would be living independently. However, respondent questioned the court why patients were prohibited from smoking marijuana cigarettes in the hospital. In his opinion, smoking medicinal marijuana cigarettes improves judgment.

It was clear to this court that upon discharge from the hospital, respondent intended to consume marijuana. Accordingly, this court initially denied the application of petitioner to release respondent from the hospital with an AOT plan.

Dr. Kirzhner was recalled to testify regarding the use of marijuana by respondent. Dr. Kirzhner testified that respondent had been on the mentally ill/chronically addicted in-patient unit for the past four months since he was admitted into the hospital. Respondent has been hospitalized multiple times due to his consumption of a synthetic cannabinoid commonly referred to as " K-2," which causes gross psychotic decompensation.

Page 640

When respondent decompensates, he roams the streets and becomes disorganized. The doctor noted that respondent does not have any history of violence and referred to respondent as a " gentle giant." The doctor testified that although respondent has not previously been ordered to AOT, he could benefit from it.

The doctor further testified that he has treated respondent many times in the past and that his current condition is the best the doctor has ever seen. The doctor maintained that respondent would not benefit from additional in-patient treatment, as respondent will never be " 100 percent." The doctor averred ...


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