- The right to legal counsel.
- Right to decline treatment.
- Right to query the courts.
Release from Florida involuntary commitment? When will you get released? It is not as complex as it may look or is made out to be. Involuntary commitment is a law in every state across the country. Each state bases their law on similar criteria and similar time periods in which the person can be held against their will. Release from involuntary commitment is, also, similar state-to-state. In answer to any question regarding when you will get a release from Florida Involuntary Commitment?, it requires a signature by the medical professional as specified below:
394.463 Involuntary examination. (f) A patient shall be examined by a physician or clinical psychologist at a receiving facility without unnecessary delay and may, upon the order of a physician, be given emergency treatment if it is determined that such treatment is necessary for the safety of the patient or others. The patient may not be released by the receiving facility or its contractor without the documented approval of a psychiatrist, a clinical psychologist, or, if the receiving facility is a hospital, the release may also be approved by an attending emergency department physician with experience in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and nervous disorders and after completion of an involuntary examination pursuant to this subsection. However, a patient may not be held in a receiving facility for involuntary examination longer than 72 hours.
Because involuntary commitment is an enforced hold, the person cannot simply release himself or herself.
Right to legal counsel:
Each person held under the involuntary commitment law in Florida, has the right to legal counsel. They have the right to contact an attorney who can look out for their rights and to assist in protecting those rights.
Per Florida Statute 394.459, Rights of patients. (5) COMMUNICATION, ABUSE REPORTING, AND VISITS.—
(c) Each facility must permit immediate access to any patient, subject to the patient’s right to deny or withdraw consent at any time, by the patient’s family members, guardian, guardian advocate, representative, Florida statewide or local advocacy council, or attorney, unless such access would be detrimental to the patient.
Right to decline treatment:
Although an individual cannot decline the Baker Act, due to the nature of the law, the Baker Act is often initiated on an involuntary basis (against the person’s will), the individual still has the right to decline the treatment that is being proposed while under the 72 hour hold.
Per Florida Statue 394.459, Rights of patients. (3) RIGHT TO EXPRESS AND INFORMED PATIENT CONSENT.—
(a)1. Each patient entering treatment shall be asked to give express and informed consent for admission or treatment. If the patient has been adjudicated incapacitated or found to be incompetent to consent to treatment, express and informed consent to treatment shall be sought instead from the patient’s guardian or guardian advocate.
Right to query the courts:
Each person who is held under the Florida Baker Act can file a legal query with the court to find out why they are being detained. If the individual cannot do it on their own, then they may as a friend, a relative, a guardian, their attorney or a representative, to file this legal query for them.
Per Florida Statute 394.459, Rights of patients.
(8) HABEAS CORPUS.
(a) At any time, and without notice, a person held in a receiving or treatment facility, or a relative, friend, guardian, guardian advocate, representative, or attorney, or the department, on behalf of such person, may petition for a writ of habeas corpus to question the cause and legality of such detention and request that the court order a return to the writ in accordance with chapter 79.
The individual (patient) always has the right to know the risks of the proposed treatment and the alternative treatment. Mainstream mental health will almost always rely on pharmaceuticals as treatment. Those mental health drugs carry severe FDA warnings of hallucinations, mania, psychosis, delusions, suicidal thoughts, homicidal thoughts and more. There are medical professionals who deal in alternative treatments and there is a large body of research that supports those treatments as medically sound. The alternative treatments are more traditional in the sense that they rely upon medical testing to find any potential underlying physical cause of the unwanted mental health symptoms.
At any time, an individual can contact an attorney, who specializes in the knowledge of the Baker Act law; to help them to file complaints regarding any part of the Baker Act process that the individual feels was done incorrectly and/or inappropriately.
The patient has the right to request their clinical records (medical records). Having those records will assist the individual and their attorney in determining the specifics that will go into the complaints. Florida Statute defines clinical records as follows:
394.455 Definitions. (3) “Clinical record” means all parts of the record required to be maintained and includes all medical records, progress notes, charts, and admission and discharge data, and all other information recorded by a facility which pertains to the patient’s hospitalization or treatment.
394.4615 Clinical records; confidentiality.
(10) Patients shall have reasonable access to their clinical records, unless such access is determined by the patient’s physician to be harmful to the patient. If the patient’s right to inspect his or her clinical record is restricted by the facility, written notice of such restriction shall be given to the patient and the patient’s guardian, guardian advocate, attorney, and representative. In addition, the restriction shall be recorded in the clinical record, together with the reasons for it.
A mental health rights advocate can act as a good resource for a list of medical professionals who work with alternative treatments and for a list of legal professionals who specialize in various aspects of mental health, to ensure the individual’s rights.