Pennsylvania Statutes Title 50 P.S. Mental Health § 7302. Involuntary emergency examination and treatment authorized by a physician--Not to exceed one hundred twenty hours

(a) Application for Examination.--Emergency examination may be undertaken at a treatment facility upon the certification of a physician stating the need for such examination;  or upon a warrant issued by the county administrator authorizing such examination;  or without a warrant upon application by a physician or other authorized person who has personally observed conduct showing the need for such examination.

(1) Warrant for Emergency Examination.--Upon written application by a physician or other responsible party setting forth facts constituting reasonable grounds to believe a person is severely mentally disabled and in need of immediate treatment, the county administrator may issue a warrant requiring a person authorized by him, or any peace officer, to take such person to the facility specified in the warrant.

(2) Emergency Examination Without a Warrant.--Upon personal observation of the conduct of a person constituting reasonable grounds to believe that he is severely mentally disabled and in need of immediate treatment, and physician or peace officer, or anyone authorized by the county administrator may take such person to an approved facility for an emergency examination.  Upon arrival, he shall make a written statement setting forth the grounds for believing the person to be in need of such examination.

(b) Examination and Determination of Need for Emergency Treatment.--A person taken to a facility shall be examined by a physician within two hours of arrival in order to determine if the person is severely mentally disabled within the meaning of section 301(b)  1 and in need of immediate treatment.  If it is determined that the person is severely mentally disabled and in need of emergency treatment, treatment shall be begun immediately.  If the physician does not so find, or if at any time it appears there is no longer a need for immediate treatment, the person shall be discharged and returned to such place as he may reasonably direct.  The physician shall make a record of the examination and his findings.  In no event shall a person be accepted for involuntary emergency treatment if a previous application was granted for such treatment and the new application is not based on behavior occurring after the earlier application.

(c) Notification of Rights at Emergency Examination.--Upon arrival at the facility, the person shall be informed of the reasons for emergency examination and of his right to communicate immediately with others.  He shall be given reasonable use of the telephone.  He shall be requested to furnish the names of parties whom he may want notified of his custody and kept informed of his status.  The county administrator or the director of the facility shall:

(1) give notice to such parties of the whereabouts and status of the person, how and when he may be contacted and visited, and how they may obtain information concerning him while he is in inpatient treatment;  and

(2) take reasonable steps to assure that while the person is detained, the health and safety needs of any of his dependents are met, and that his personal property and the premises he occupies are secure.

(d) Duration of Emergency Examination and Treatment.--A person who is in treatment pursuant to this section shall be discharged whenever it is determined that he no longer is in need of treatment and in any event within 120 hours, unless within such period:

(1) he is admitted to voluntary treatment pursuant to section 202 of this act;   2  or

(2) a certification for extended involuntary emergency treatment is filed pursuant to section 303 of this act.  3

1 50 P.S. § 7301.
2 50 P.S. § 7202.
3 50 P.S. § 7303.

FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.

Copied to clipboard