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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 9.39
Emergency admissions for immediate observation, care, and treatment
Mental Hygiene (MHY) CHAPTER 27, TITLE B, ARTICLE 9
§ 9.39 Emergency admissions for immediate observation, care, and

treatment.

(a) The director of any hospital maintaining adequate staff and
facilities for the observation, examination, care, and treatment of
persons alleged to be mentally ill and approved by the commissioner to
receive and retain patients pursuant to this section may receive and
retain therein as a patient for a period of fifteen days any person
alleged to have a mental illness for which immediate observation, care,
and treatment in a hospital is appropriate and which is likely to result
in serious harm to himself or others. "Likelihood to result in serious
harm" as used in this article shall mean:

1. substantial risk of physical harm to himself as manifested by
threats of or attempts at suicide or serious bodily harm or other
conduct demonstrating that he is dangerous to himself, or

2. a substantial risk of physical harm to other persons as manifested
by homicidal or other violent behavior by which others are placed in
reasonable fear of serious physical harm.

The director shall cause to be entered upon the hospital records the
name of the person or persons, if any, who have brought such person to
the hospital and the details of the circumstances leading to the
hospitalization of such person.

The director shall admit such person pursuant to the provisions of
this section only if a staff physician of the hospital upon examination
of such person finds that such person qualifies under the requirements
of this section. Such person shall not be retained for a period of more
than forty-eight hours unless within such period such finding is
confirmed after examination by another physician who shall be a member
of the psychiatric staff of the hospital. Such person shall be served,
at the time of admission, with written notice of his status and rights
as a patient under this section. Such notice shall contain the patient's
name. At the same time, such notice shall also be given to the mental
hygiene legal service and personally or by mail to such person or
persons, not to exceed three in number, as may be designated in writing
to receive such notice by the person alleged to be mentally ill. If at
any time after admission, the patient, any relative, friend, or the
mental hygiene legal service gives notice to the director in writing of
request for court hearing on the question of need for immediate
observation, care, and treatment, a hearing shall be held as herein
provided as soon as practicable but in any event not more than five days
after such request is received, except that the commencement of such
hearing may be adjourned at the request of the patient. It shall be the
duty of the director upon receiving notice of such request for hearing
to forward forthwith a copy of such notice with a record of the patient
to the supreme court or county court in the county where such hospital
is located. A copy of such notice and record shall also be given the
mental hygiene legal service. The court which receives such notice shall
fix the date of such hearing and cause the patient or other person
requesting the hearing, the director, the mental hygiene legal service
and such other persons as the court may determine to be advised of such
date. Upon such date, or upon such other date to which the proceeding
may be adjourned, the court shall hear testimony and examine the person
alleged to be mentally ill, if it be deemed advisable in or out of
court, and shall render a decision in writing that there is reasonable
cause to believe that the patient has a mental illness for which
immediate inpatient care and treatment in a hospital is appropriate and
which is likely to result in serious harm to himself or others. If it be
determined that there is such reasonable cause, the court shall
forthwith issue an order authorizing the retention of such patient for
any such purpose or purposes in the hospital for a period not to exceed
fifteen days from the date of admission. Any such order entered by the
court shall not be deemed to be an adjudication that the patient is
mentally ill, but only a determination that there is reasonable cause to
retain the patient for the purposes of this section.

(b) Within fifteen days of arrival at the hospital, if a determination
is made that the person is not in need of involuntary care and
treatment, he shall be discharged unless he agrees to remain as a
voluntary or informal patient. If he is in need of involuntary care and
treatment and does not agree to remain as a voluntary or informal
patient, he may be retained beyond such fifteen day period only by
admission to such hospital or another appropriate hospital pursuant to
the provisions governing involuntary admission on application supported
by medical certification and subject to the provisions for notice,
hearing, review, and judicial approval of retention or transfer and
retention governing such admissions, provided that, for the purposes of
such provisions, the date of admission of the patient shall be deemed to
be the date when the patient was first received under this section. If a
hearing has been requested pursuant to the provisions of subdivision
(a), the filing of an application for involuntary admission on medical
certification shall not delay or prevent the holding of the hearing.

(c) If a person is examined and determined to be mentally ill the fact
that such person suffers from alcohol or substance abuse shall not
preclude commitment under this section.