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Georgia Code Title 37. Mental Health § 37-3-163

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(a) It shall be the policy of this state to recognize the personal physical integrity of all patients.

(b) It shall be the policy of this state to protect, within reason, the right of every individual to refuse medication except in cases where a physician determines that refusal would be unsafe to the patient or others. If the patient continues to refuse medication after such initial emergency treatment, a concurring opinion from a second physician must be obtained before medication can be continued without the patient's consent. Further, in connection with any hearing under this chapter, the patient has the right to appear and testify as free from any side effects or adverse effects of the medication as is reasonably possible.

(c) Any patient objecting to the treatment being administered to him shall have a right to request a protective order pursuant to Code Section 37-3-148.

(d) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (e) of this Code section, consent to medical treatment and surgery shall be obtained and regulated by Chapter 9 of Title 31.

(e) In cases of grave emergency where the medical staff of the facility in which a mentally ill individual has been accepted for treatment determines that immediate surgical or other intervention is necessary to prevent serious physical consequences or death and where delay in obtaining consent would create a grave danger to the physical health of such person, as determined by at least two physicians, then essential surgery or other intervention may be administered without the consent of the person, the spouse, next of kin, attorney, guardian, or any other person.  In such cases, a record of the determination of the physicians shall be entered into the medical records of the patient and this will be proper consent for such surgery or other intervention.  Such consent will be valid notwithstanding the type of admission of the patient and it shall also be valid whether or not the patient has been adjudged incompetent.  This Code section is intended to apply to those individuals who, as a result of their advanced age, impaired thinking, or other disability, cannot reasonably understand the consequences of withholding consent to surgery or other intervention as contemplated by this Code section.  Any hospital or any physician, agent, employee, or official who obtains consent or relies on such consent, as authorized by this Code section, and who acts in good faith and within the provisions of this chapter shall be immune from civil or criminal liability for his or her actions in connection with the obtaining of or the relying upon such consent;  provided, however, that nothing in this Code section shall be construed to relieve any hospital or any physician, agent, employee, or official from liability for failing to meet the applicable standard of care in the provision of treatment to a patient.  Actual notice of any action taken pursuant to this Code section shall be given to the patient and the spouse, next of kin, attorney, guardian, or representative of the patient as soon as practicably possible.

Cite this article: - Georgia Code Title 37. Mental Health § 37-3-163 - last updated April 14, 2021 |

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