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Massachusetts General Laws Part I. Administration of the Government (Ch. 1-182) Ch. 7D, § 10

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(a) A patient who is receiving services under AS 47.30.660 - 47.30.915 has the rights described in this section.

(b) The patient and the following persons, at the request of the patient, are entitled to participate in formulating the patient's individualized treatment plan and to participate in the evaluation process as much as possible, at minimum to the extent of requesting specific forms of therapy, inquiring why specific therapies are or are not included in the treatment program, and being informed as to the patient's present medical and psychological condition and prognosis:  (1) the patient's counsel, (2) the patient's guardian, (3) a mental health professional previously engaged in the patient's care outside of the evaluation facility or designated treatment facility, (4) a representative of the patient's choice, (5) a person designated as the patient's agent or surrogate with regard to mental health treatment decisions under AS 13.52, and (6) the adult designated under AS 47.30.725.  The mental health care professionals may not withhold any of the information described in this subsection from the patient or from others if the patient has signed a waiver of confidentiality or has designated the person who would receive the information as an agent or surrogate under AS 13.52 with regard to mental health treatment.

(c) A patient who is capable of giving informed consent has the right to give and withhold consent to medication and treatment in all situations that do not involve a crisis or impending crisis as described in AS 47.30.838(a)(1).  A facility shall follow the procedures required under AS 47.30.836 - 47.30.839 before administering psychotropic medication.

(d) A locked quiet room, or other form of physical restraint, may not be used, except as provided in this subsection, unless a patient is likely to physically harm self or others unless restrained.  The form of restraint used shall be that which is in the patient's best interest and which constitutes the least restrictive alternative available.  When practicable, the patient shall be consulted as to the patient's preference among forms of adequate, medically advisable restraints including medication, and that preference shall be honored.  Nothing in this section is intended to limit the right of staff to use a quiet room at the patient's request or with the patient's knowing concurrence when considered in the best interests of the patient.  Patients placed in a quiet room or other physical restraint shall be checked at least every 15 minutes or more often if good medical practice so indicates.  Patients in a quiet room must be visited by a staff member at least once every hour and must be given adequate food and drink and access to bathroom facilities.  At no time may a patient be kept in a quiet room or other form of physical restraint against the patient's will longer than necessary to accomplish the purposes set out in this subsection.  All uses of a quiet room or other restraint shall be recorded in the patient's medical record, the information including but not limited to the reasons for its use, the duration of use, and the name of the authorizing staff member.

(e) Repealed.

(f) A patient capable of giving informed consent has the absolute right to accept or refuse electroconvulsive therapy or aversive conditioning.  A patient who lacks substantial capacity to make this decision may not be given this therapy or conditioning without a court order unless the patient expressly authorized that particular form of treatment in an advance health care directive properly executed under AS 13.52 or has authorized an agent or surrogate under AS 13.52 to make this decision and the agent or surrogate consents to the treatment on behalf of the patient.

(g) In no event may treatment include psychosurgery, lobotomy, or other comparable form of treatment without specific informed consent of the patient, including a minor unless the minor is clearly too young or disabled to give an informed consent in which case the consent of the minor's legal guardian is required.  In addition, this treatment may not be given without a court order after hearing compatible with full due process.

(h) When, in the written opinion of a patient's attending physician, a true medical emergency exists and a surgical operation is necessary to save the life, physical health, eyesight, hearing, or member of the patient, the professional person in charge, or that person's professional designee, may give consent to the surgical operation if time will not permit obtaining the consent of the proper relatives or guardian or appropriate judicial authority.  However, an operation may not be authorized if the patient is not a minor and knowingly withholds consent on religious grounds.

(i) A patient upon discharge shall be given a discharge plan specifying the kinds and amount of care and treatment the patient should have after discharge and such other steps as the patient might take to benefit the patient's mental health after leaving the facility.  The patient shall have the right to participate, as far as practicable, in formulating the patient's discharge plan.  A copy of the plan shall be given to the patient, the patient's guardian, an adult designated in accordance with AS 47.30.725, the court if appropriate, and any follow-up agencies.

Cite this article: - Massachusetts General Laws Part I. Administration of the Government (Ch. 1-182) Ch. 7D, § 10 - last updated January 01, 2020 |

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