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Old January 29, 2013, 12:00 PM   #12
Evan Thomas
Join Date: July 7, 2008
Location: Upper midwest
Posts: 5,098
Exactly -- that's often referred to as a "72-hour hold," and it's not the same as involuntary commitment, which would be the next step in the process; that involves going before a judge and presenting evidence (not just opinion) that the patient is an immediate danger to himself or others. Such evidence might be a failed suicide attempt, or a violent act, or a credible threat of either, made in the presence of others; the evidence has to refer to the person's actual behavior, not merely what a doctor conceives his mental state to be.

So once those 72 hours are up, holding a patient against his will requires due process of law; otherwise it's a violation of his Fifth Amendment right to liberty.
Thomas Jefferson never said that.

Last edited by Evan Thomas; January 29, 2013 at 07:29 PM.
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