A Defendant Who Has a Mental Disorder Case Law

Courts have recognized that a defendant may make rational choices despite a mental disorder. " 'Even though a defendant has a history of mental disorder, a medical inquiry is not required if it appears that his election to represent himself is knowing and intelligent.'" ( People v. Hightower (1996) 41 Cal. App. 4th 1108, 1114 [49 Cal. Rptr. 2d 40].) In Woodland v. Angus (D. Utah 1993) 820 F. Supp. 1497, 1502, footnote 5, the court noted: "Whether plaintiff has been found incompetent to stand trial is not dispositive of his medical competence. See Freedman, Competence, Marginal and Otherwise: Concepts and Ethics, 4 Intern. J. of L. & Psychiatry 53, 56 (1981) ('The test of competency varies from one context to another.'); Developments, Civil Commitment of the Mentally Ill, 87 Harv.L.Rev. 1190, 1214 (1974) ('Commentators have also noted that only some of the mentally ill are unable to decide intelligently, whether or not to seek treatment.'). See generally Roth, Meisel & Ledz, Tests of Competency to Consent to Treatment, 134 Am.J.Psychiatry 279 (1977)."