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Minnesota Legislature

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253B.04 Voluntary treatment and admission procedures.

Subdivision 1. Voluntary admission and treatment. Voluntary admission is preferred over involuntary commitment and treatment. Any person 16 years of age or older may request to be admitted to a treatment facility as a voluntary patient for observation, evaluation, diagnosis, care and treatment without making formal written application. Any person under the age of 16 years may be admitted as a voluntary patient with the consent of a parent or legal guardian if it is determined by independent examination that there is reasonable evidence that (a) the proposed patient is mentally ill, mentally retarded, or chemically dependent; and (b) the proposed patient is suitable for treatment. The head of the treatment facility shall not arbitrarily refuse any person seeking admission as a voluntary patient.

Subd. 1a. Voluntary treatment or admission for persons with mental illness. (a) A person with a mental illness may seek or voluntarily agree to accept treatment or admission to a facility. If the mental health provider determines that the person lacks the capacity to give informed consent for the treatment or admission, and in the absence of a durable power of attorney for health care that authorizes consent, the designated agency or its designee may give informed consent for mental health treatment or admission to a treatment facility on behalf of the person.

(b) The designated agency shall apply the following criteria in determining the person's ability to give informed consent:

(1) whether the person demonstrates an awareness of the person's illness, and the reasons for treatment, its risks, benefits and alternatives, and the possible consequences of refusing treatment; and

(2) whether the person communicates verbally or nonverbally a clear choice concerning treatment that is a reasoned one, not based on delusion, even though it may not be in the person's best interests.

(c) The basis for the designated agency's decision that the person lacks the capacity to give informed consent for treatment or admission, and that the patient has voluntarily accepted treatment or admission, must be documented in writing.

(d) A mental health provider that provides treatment in reliance on the written consent given by the designated agency under this subdivision is not civilly or criminally liable for performing treatment without consent. This paragraph does not affect any other liability that may result from the manner in which the treatment is performed.

(e) A person who receives treatment or is admitted to a facility under this subdivision has the right to refuse treatment at any time or to be released from a facility as provided under subdivision 2. The person or any interested person acting on the person's behalf may seek court review within five days for a determination of whether the person's agreement to accept treatment or admission is voluntary. At the time a person agrees to treatment or admission to a facility under this subdivision, the designated agency or its designee shall inform the person in writing of the person's rights under this paragraph.

(f) This subdivision does not authorize the administration of neuroleptic medications. Neuroleptic medications may be administered only as provided in section 253B.092.

Subd. 2. Release. Every patient admitted for mental illness or mental retardation under this section shall be informed in writing at the time of admission that the patient has a right to leave the facility within 12 hours of making a request, unless held under another provision of this chapter. Every patient admitted for chemical dependency under this section shall be informed in writing at the time of admission that the patient has a right to leave the facility within 72 hours, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, of making a request, unless held under another provision of this chapter. The request shall be submitted in writing to the head of the treatment facility or the person's designee.

HIST: 1982 c 581 s 4; 1983 c 251 s 7; 1986 c 444; 1997 c 217 art 1 s 29