Vt. woman held in psych ward testifies

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MONTPELIER (AP) -- A Vermont woman held against her will for weeks at a psychiatric ward has told lawmakers she opposes involuntary hospitalization.

A judge recently ordered that 48-year-old Christina Schumacher be released from a hospital in Burlington five weeks after a murder-suicide involving her son and her estranged husband. The judge disagreed with a doctor's assessment that she needed to admit herself or be taken into custody.

Her remarks Friday stopped short of saying she opposed involuntary hospitalization in all instances.

She acknowledges she's "not an expert."

The comments came a day after she testified before two state Senate committees considering changes to Vermont's process for involuntarily committing patients to mental health facilities and for forcing them to be medicated.


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