<<Prev Rule

Texas Administrative Code

Next Rule>>
TITLE 25HEALTH SERVICES
PART 1DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES
CHAPTER 404PROTECTION OF CLIENTS AND STAFF--MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
SUBCHAPTER ERIGHTS OF PERSONS RECEIVING MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
RULE §404.157Rights of Persons Voluntarily Admitted to Inpatient Services

(a) All persons voluntarily admitted to inpatient services for treatment of mental illness or chemical dependency or the person who requested admission on the individual's behalf have the right to request discharge. Any such person expressing a request for release shall be given an explanation of the process for requesting release and afforded the opportunity to request release in writing.

  (1) When a written request for release is presented to any direct care staff of the department facility, community center, or psychiatric hospital, it should be signed, dated, and timed by the individual or a person legally responsible for the individual.

  (2) If an individual informs a person associated with or employed by the department facility, community center, or psychiatric hospital of the individual's desire to leave, the employee or person shall, as soon as possible, assist the individual in creating the written request and present it to the individual to sign, date, and time. Without regard to whether the individual agrees to sign paperwork requesting discharge from services, the request will be documented and processed by staff. The refusal or inability of the individual to sign the request for discharge will be documented on the unsigned written request.

  (3) All written or prepared requests for discharge will be timed, dated, and signed by the staff member, who shall provide information to the individual that pursuant to law, during the ensuing period of up to 24 hours, the individual will be observed and evaluated to determine the clinical appropriateness of seeking an involuntary commitment to services. The form and format for requesting release and the information to be provided may be prescribed by the department.

(b) All persons voluntarily admitted to inpatient services for treatment of mental illness or chemical dependency have the right to be discharged within four hours of a request for release unless the individual's treating physician (or another physician if the treating physician is not available) determines that there is cause to believe that the individual might meet the criteria for court-ordered mental health services or emergency detention.

  (1) Each such person detained beyond four hours has the right to be examined in person by a physician and assessed for discharge readiness within 24 hours of the filing of a request for release, with results of the assessment and recommendation resulting documented in the medical record and disclosed to the individual. All such persons have the right not to be detained beyond the completion of the in-person examination unless:

    (A) the person who filed the request for release files a written withdrawal of the request or asks a staff member to withdraw the request (the staff member must put the request in writing);

    (B) the person served, in the physician's clinical judgment, meets the criteria for involuntary commitment outlined in the Texas Health and Safety Code, §573.022, and an application for court-ordered mental health services, chemical-dependency services or emergency detention will be filed and an order obtained not later than 4 p.m. on the next succeeding business day after the date on which the examination occurs and the individual is detained under the provisions of the relevant statute; or

    (C) the person receiving inpatient treatment for chemical dependency is a minor admitted with the consent of the parent, guardian, or conservator, and the individual who gave that consent objects in writing to the release of the minor after consultation with personnel of the department facility, community center, or psychiatric hospital.

  (2) If extremely hazardous weather conditions exist or a disaster occurs, the physician may request the judge of a court that has jurisdiction to extend the period under which the individual may be detained. The judge or a magistrate appointed by the judge may, by written order made each day, extend the period during which the individual may be detained until 4 p.m. on the first succeeding business day.

(c) All persons voluntarily admitted to inpatient services for treatment of mental illness or chemical dependency have the right not to have an application for court-ordered mental health or chemical dependency services filed while receiving voluntary services unless, in the opinion of the physician responsible for the individual's treatment, the individual meets the criteria for court-ordered services as outlined in the Texas Health and Safety Code, §573.022, and either:

  (1) requests discharge;

  (2) is absent without authorization;

  (3) is unable to consent to appropriate and necessary psychiatric or chemical dependency treatment; or

  (4) refuses to consent to necessary and appropriate treatment recommended by the physician responsible for the individual's treatment and the physician completes a certificate of medical examination for medical illness that, in addition to the information required by the Texas Health and Safety Code, §574.011, includes the opinion of the physician that:

    (A) there is no reasonable alternative to the treatment recommended by the physician; and

    (B) the individual will not benefit from continued inpatient care without the recommended treatment.

(d) Each of these persons has the right to be informed by the physician of the intent to file an application for court-ordered mental health services based on the criteria outlined in subsection (c) of this section.

(e) Each of these person has the right to be free from threatening or coercive representations of actions that will result if the individual requests to leave a department facility, community center, or psychiatric hospital against medical advice, including representations that:

  (1) the individual will be subject to an involuntary commitment proceeding or subsequent emergency detention unless that representation is made by a physician or on the written instruction of a physician who has evaluated the individual within 48 hours prior to the representation;

  (2) the individual's insurance company will refuse to pay all or any portion of the medical expenses previously incurred; or

  (3) the person will be reported to an enforcement or regulatory agency (i.e., Department of Protective and Regulatory Services) merely because the person refuses to follow a treatment recommendation. However, this does not preclude reminding the individual of the consequences of requesting release as relate to any agreements the individual entered into as a condition of treatment, i.e., treatment as a condition of parole.


Source Note: The provisions of this §404.157 adopted to be effective December 10, 1993, 18 TexReg 8790

Next Page Previous Page

Link to Texas Secretary of State Home Page | link to Texas Register home page | link to Texas Administrative Code home page | link to Open Meetings home page