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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

253B.03 Rights of patients.

Subdivision 1. Restraints. (a) A patient has the right to be free from restraints. Restraints shall not be applied to a patient unless the head of the treatment facility or a member of the medical staff determines that they are necessary for the safety of the patient or others.

(b) Restraints shall not be applied to patients with mental retardation except as permitted under section 245.825 and rules of the commissioner of human services. Consent must be obtained from the person or person's guardian except for emergency procedures as permitted under rules of the commissioner adopted under section 245.825.

(c) Each use of a restraint and reason for it shall be made part of the clinical record of the patient under the signature of the head of the treatment facility.

Subd. 2. Correspondence. A patient has the right to correspond freely without censorship. The head of the treatment facility may restrict correspondence if the patient's medical welfare requires this restriction. For patients in regional treatment centers, that determination may be reviewed by the commissioner. Any limitation imposed on the exercise of a patient's correspondence rights and the reason for it shall be made a part of the clinical record of the patient. Any communication which is not delivered to a patient shall be immediately returned to the sender.

Subd. 3. Visitors and phone calls. Subject to the general rules of the treatment facility, a patient has the right to receive visitors and make phone calls. The head of the treatment facility may restrict visits and phone calls on determining that the medical welfare of the patient requires it. Any limitation imposed on the exercise of the patient's visitation and phone call rights and the reason for it shall be made a part of the clinical record of the patient.

Subd. 4. Special visitation; religion. A patient has the right to meet with or call a personal physician, spiritual advisor, and counsel at all reasonable times. The patient has the right to continue the practice of religion.

Subd. 4a. Disclosure of patient's admission. Upon admission to a facility where federal law prohibits unauthorized disclosure of patient or resident identifying information to callers and visitors, the patient or resident, or the legal guardian or conservator of the patient or resident, shall be given the opportunity to authorize disclosure of the patient's or resident's presence in the facility to callers and visitors who may seek to communicate with the patient or resident. To the extent possible, the legal guardian or conservator of a patient or resident shall consider the opinions of the patient or resident regarding the disclosure of the patient's or resident's presence in the facility.

Subd. 5. Periodic assessment. A patient has the right to periodic medical assessment. The treatment facility shall assess the physical and mental condition of every patient as frequently as necessary, but not less often than annually. If the patient refuses to be examined, the facility shall document in the patient's chart its attempts to examine the patient. If a person is committed as mentally retarded for an indeterminate period of time, the three-year judicial review must include the annual reviews for each year as outlined in Minnesota Rules, part 9525.0075, subpart 6.

Subd. 6. Consent for medical procedure. A patient has the right to prior consent to any medical or surgical treatment, other than treatment for chemical dependency or nonintrusive treatment for mental illness.

The following procedures shall be used to obtain consent for any treatment necessary to preserve the life or health of any committed patient:

(a) The written, informed consent of a competent adult patient for the treatment is sufficient.

(b) If the patient is subject to guardianship or conservatorship which includes the provision of medical care, the written, informed consent of the guardian or conservator for the treatment is sufficient.

(c) If the head of the treatment facility determines that the patient is not competent to consent to the treatment and the patient has not been adjudicated incompetent, written, informed consent for the surgery or medical treatment shall be obtained from the nearest proper relative. For this purpose, the following persons are proper relatives, in the order listed: the patient's spouse, parent, adult child, or adult sibling. If the nearest proper relatives cannot be located, refuse to consent to the procedure, or are unable to consent, the head of the treatment facility or an interested person may petition the committing court for approval for the treatment or may petition a court of competent jurisdiction for the appointment of a guardian or conservator. The determination that the patient is not competent, and the reasons for the determination, shall be documented in the patient's clinical record.

(d) Consent to treatment of any minor patient shall be secured in accordance with sections 144.341 to 144.346. A minor 16 years of age or older may consent to hospitalization, routine diagnostic evaluation, and emergency or short-term acute care.

(e) In the case of an emergency when the persons ordinarily qualified to give consent cannot be located, the head of the treatment facility may give consent.

No person who consents to treatment pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision shall be civilly or criminally liable for the performance or the manner of performing the treatment. No person shall be liable for performing treatment without consent if written, informed consent was given pursuant to this subdivision. This provision shall not affect any other liability which may result from the manner in which the treatment is performed.

Subd. 6a. MS 1990 Renumbered subd 6c

Subd. 6a. Consent for treatment for mental retardation. A patient with mental retardation, or the patient's guardian or conservator, has the right to give or withhold consent before:

(1) the implementation of any aversive or deprivation procedure except for emergency procedures permitted in rules of the commissioner adopted under section 245.825; or

(2) the administration of psychotropic medication.

Subd. 6b. Consent for mental health treatment. A competent person admitted voluntarily to a treatment facility may be subjected to intrusive mental health treatment only with the person's written informed consent. For purposes of this section, "intrusive mental health treatment" means electroshock therapy and neuroleptic medication and does not include treatment for mental retardation. An incompetent person who has prepared a directive under subdivision 6d regarding treatment with intrusive therapies must be treated in accordance with this section, except in cases of emergencies.

Subd. 6c. Repealed, 1997 c 217 art 1 s 118

Subd. 6d. Adult mental health treatment. (a) A competent adult may make a declaration of preferences or instructions regarding intrusive mental health treatment. These preferences or instructions may include, but are not limited to, consent to or refusal of these treatments.

(b) A declaration may designate a proxy to make decisions about intrusive mental health treatment. A proxy designated to make decisions about intrusive mental health treatments and who agrees to serve as proxy may make decisions on behalf of a declarant consistent with any desires the declarant expresses in the declaration.

(c) A declaration is effective only if it is signed by the declarant and two witnesses. The witnesses must include a statement that they believe the declarant understands the nature and significance of the declaration. A declaration becomes operative when it is delivered to the declarant's physician or other mental health treatment provider. The physician or provider must comply with it to the fullest extent possible, consistent with reasonable medical practice, the availability of treatments requested, and applicable law. The physician or provider shall continue to obtain the declarant's informed consent to all intrusive mental health treatment decisions if the declarant is capable of informed consent. A treatment provider may not require a person to make a declaration under this subdivision as a condition of receiving services.

(d) The physician or other provider shall make the declaration a part of the declarant's medical record. If the physician or other provider is unwilling at any time to comply with the declaration, the physician or provider must promptly notify the declarant and document the notification in the declarant's medical record. If the declarant has been committed as a patient under this chapter, the physician or provider may subject a declarant to intrusive treatment in a manner contrary to the declarant's expressed wishes, only upon order of the committing court. If the declarant is not a committed patient under this chapter, the physician or provider may subject the declarant to intrusive treatment in a manner contrary to the declarant's expressed wishes, only if the declarant is committed as mentally ill or mentally ill and dangerous to the public and a court order authorizing the treatment has been issued.

(e) A declaration under this subdivision may be revoked in whole or in part at any time and in any manner by the declarant if the declarant is competent at the time of revocation. A revocation is effective when a competent declarant communicates the revocation to the attending physician or other provider. The attending physician or other provider shall note the revocation as part of the declarant's medical record.

(f) A provider who administers intrusive mental health treatment according to and in good faith reliance upon the validity of a declaration under this subdivision is held harmless from any liability resulting from a subsequent finding of invalidity.

(g) In addition to making a declaration under this subdivision, a competent adult may delegate parental powers under section 524.5-505 or may nominate a guardian or conservator under section 525.544.

Subd. 7. Program plan. A person receiving services under this chapter has the right to receive proper care and treatment, best adapted, according to contemporary professional standards, to rendering further supervision unnecessary. The treatment facility shall devise a written program plan for each person which describes in behavioral terms the case problems, the precise goals, including the expected period of time for treatment, and the specific measures to be employed. Each plan shall be reviewed at least quarterly to determine progress toward the goals, and to modify the program plan as necessary. The program plan shall be devised and reviewed with the designated agency and with the patient. The clinical record shall reflect the program plan review. If the designated agency or the patient does not participate in the planning and review, the clinical record shall include reasons for nonparticipation and the plans for future involvement. The commissioner shall monitor the program plan and review process for regional centers to insure compliance with the provisions of this subdivision.

Subd. 8. Medical records. A patient has the right to access to personal medical records. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 144.335, subdivision 2, every person subject to a proceeding or receiving services pursuant to this chapter and the patient's attorney shall have complete access to all medical records relevant to the person's commitment. A provider may require an attorney to provide evidence of representation of the patient or an authorization signed by the patient.

Subd. 9. Repealed, 1997 c 217 art 1 s 118

Subd. 10. Notification. All persons admitted or committed to a treatment facility shall be notified in writing of their rights under this chapter at the time of admission.

HIST: 1982 c 581 s 3; 1983 c 251 s 5,6; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 185 art 2 s 2,3; 1988 c 623 s 5; 1988 c 689 art 2 s 118,119; 1989 c 282 art 2 s 100; 1990 c 568 art 5 s 31; 1991 c 148 s 2; 1993 c 54 s 4,5; 1995 c 136 s 5,6; 1995 c 189 s 2,3; 1997 c 217 art 1 s 19-28; 1998 c 313 s 1