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2003 Minnesota Statutes

This is a historical version of this statute section. Also view the most recent published version.

253B.04 Voluntary treatment and admission procedures.

Subdivision 1. Voluntary admission and treatment. (a) 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 patient with the consent of a parent or legal guardian if it is determined by independent examination that there is reasonable evidence that (1) the proposed patient has a mental illness, or is mentally retarded or chemically dependent; and (2) 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. In making decisions regarding admissions, the facility shall use clinical admission criteria consistent with the current applicable inpatient admission standards established by the American Psychiatric Association or the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. These criteria must be no more restrictive than, and must be consistent with, the requirements of section 62Q.53. The facility may not refuse to admit a person voluntarily solely because the person does not meet the criteria for involuntary holds under section 253B.05 or the definition of mental illness under section 253B.02, subdivision 13.

(b) In addition to the consent provisions of paragraph (a), a person who is 16 or 17 years of age who refuses to consent personally to admission may be admitted as a patient for mental illness or chemical dependency treatment with the consent of a parent or legal guardian if it is determined by an independent examination that there is reasonable evidence that the proposed patient is chemically dependent or has a mental illness and is suitable for treatment. The person conducting the examination shall notify the proposed patient and the parent or legal guardian of this determination.

(c) A person who is voluntarily participating in treatment for a mental illness is not subject to civil commitment under this chapter if the person:

(1) has given informed consent or, if lacking capacity, is a person for whom legally valid substitute consent has been given; and

(2) is participating in a medically appropriate course of treatment, including clinically appropriate and lawful use of neuroleptic medication and electroconvulsive therapy. The limitation on commitment in this paragraph does not apply if, based on clinical assessment, the court finds that it is unlikely that the person will remain in and cooperate with a medically appropriate course of treatment absent commitment and the standards for commitment are otherwise met. This paragraph does not apply to a person for whom commitment proceedings are initiated pursuant to rule 20.01 or 20.02 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, or a person found by the court to meet the requirements under section 253B.02, subdivision 17.

Legally valid substitute consent may be provided by a proxy under a health care directive, a guardian or conservator with authority to consent to mental health treatment, or consent to admission under subdivision 1a or 1b.

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 health care power of attorney 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 or by a substitute decision maker appointed by the court 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 or subdivision 1b 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. 1b. Court appointment of substitute decision maker. If the designated agency or its designee declines or refuses to give informed consent under subdivision 1a, the person who is seeking treatment or admission, or an interested person acting on behalf of the person, may petition the court for appointment of a substitute decision maker who may give informed consent for voluntary treatment and services. In making this determination, the court shall apply the criteria in subdivision 1a, paragraph (b).

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; 1998 c 399 s 28; 1999 c 32 s 1; 2000 c 316 s 2; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 9 s 25-27; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 6 s 45

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