Cite as: 539 U. S. 166 (2003)
Opinion of the Court
Second, the court must conclude that involuntary medication will significantly further those concomitant state interests. It must find that administration of the drugs is substantially likely to render the defendant competent to stand trial. At the same time, it must find that administration of the drugs is substantially unlikely to have side effects that will interfere significantly with the defendant's ability to assist counsel in conducting a trial defense, thereby rendering the trial unfair. See Riggins, 504 U. S., at 142-145 (Kennedy, J., concurring in judgment).
Third, the court must conclude that involuntary medication is necessary to further those interests. The court must find that any alternative, less intrusive treatments are unlikely to achieve substantially the same results. Cf. Brief for American Psychological Association as Amicus Curiae 10-14 (nondrug therapies may be effective in restoring psychotic defendants to competence); but cf. Brief for American Psychiatric Association et al. as Amici Curiae 13-22 (alter-native treatments for psychosis commonly not as effective as medication). And the court must consider less intrusive means for administering the drugs, e. g., a court order to the defendant backed by the contempt power, before considering more intrusive methods.
Fourth, as we have said, the court must conclude that administration of the drugs is medically appropriate, i. e., in the patient's best medical interest in light of his medical condition. The specific kinds of drugs at issue may matter here as elsewhere. Different kinds of antipsychotic drugs may produce different side effects and enjoy different levels of success.
We emphasize that the court applying these standards is seeking to determine whether involuntary administration of drugs is necessary significantly to further a particular governmental interest, namely, the interest in rendering the defendant competent to stand trial. A court need not consider whether to allow forced medication for that kind of purpose,
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