TITLE 28 — Mental health RS 28:53 — Admission by emergency certificate; extension View the 2017 Louisiana Laws | View Previous Versions of the Louisiana Laws 2011 Louisiana Laws Revised Statutes TITLE 28 — Mental health RS 28:53 — Admission by emergency certificate; extension
Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 28:53
§53. Admission by emergency certificate; extension
A.(1) A mentally ill person or a person suffering from substance abuse may be admitted and detained at a treatment facility for observation, diagnosis, and treatment for a period not to exceed fifteen days under an emergency certificate.
(2) A person suffering from substance abuse may be detained at a treatment facility for one additional period, not to exceed fifteen days, provided that a second emergency certificate is executed. A second certificate may be executed only if and when a physician at the treatment facility and any other physician have examined the detained person within seventy-two hours prior to the termination of the initial fifteen day period and certified in writing on the second certificate that the person remains dangerous to himself or others or gravely disabled, and that his condition is likely to improve during the extended period. The director shall inform the patient of the execution of the second certificate, the length of the extended period, and the specific reasons therefor, and shall also give notice of the same to the patient's nearest relative or other designated responsible party initially notified pursuant to Subsection F.
B.(1) Any physician, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, or psychologist may execute an emergency certificate only after an actual examination of a person alleged to be mentally ill or suffering from substance abuse who is determined to be in need of immediate care and treatment in a treatment facility because the examining physician, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, or psychologist determines the person to be dangerous to self or others or to be gravely disabled. The actual examination of the person by a psychiatrist may be conducted by telemedicine utilizing video conferencing technology provided that a licensed health care professional who can adequately and accurately assist with obtaining any necessary information including but not limited to the information listed in Paragraph (4) of this Subsection shall be in the examination room with the patient at the time of the video conference. A patient examined in such a manner shall be medically cleared prior to admission to a mental health treatment facility. Failure to conduct an examination prior to the execution of the certificate will be evidence of gross negligence.
(2) The certificate shall state:
(a) The date of the physician's, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner's, or psychologist's examination of the person, which shall not be more than seventy-two hours prior to the date of the signature of the certificate.
(b) The objective findings of the physician, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, or psychologist relative to the physical or mental condition of the person, leading to the conclusion that the person is dangerous to self or others or is gravely disabled as a result of substance abuse or mental illness.
(c) The history of the case, if known.
(d) The determination of whether the person examined is in need of immediate care and treatment in a treatment facility because the patient is either:
(i) Dangerous to himself.
(ii) Dangerous to others.
(iii) Gravely disabled.
(e) That the person is unwilling or unable to seek voluntary admission.
(3) The certificate shall be dated and executed under the penalty of perjury, but need not be notarized. The certificate shall be valid for seventy-two hours and shall be delivered to the director of the treatment facility where the person is to be further evaluated and treated.
(4) In case of an emergency certificate issued pursuant to an examination conducted by telemedicine pursuant to Paragraph (1) of this Subsection and Paragraph (J)(1) of this Section, the licensed health care professional present during the actual examination shall be responsible for obtaining, recording, and attaching to the emergency certificate the following information regarding the video conference:
(a) The date.
(b) The starting and ending times.
(c) The names of all persons who were in the room and the type of license issued to the health care professional.
(d) The physical address of both the examining psychiatrist and the patient when the video conference was conducted.
C. A patient may request the director of the treatment facility to advise the executive director of the mental health advocacy service of his admission and may request representation.
D. Prior to or during confinement, under the provisions of this Title, any person or his attorney shall have the right to demand a judicial hearing to determine if probable cause exists for his continued confinement under an emergency certificate. The hearing shall be held within five days of the filing of the petition. The petition shall be filed in the court of the jurisdiction in which the patient is confined. The hearing shall be held in that court and no other except for good cause shown. If the person is confined, the judge of the court where the petition was filed may hold the hearing at the treatment facility where the person is confined, if in the opinion of the director of the treatment facility it will be detrimental to the patient's health, welfare or dignity, to travel to the court where the petition was filed. Pending the decision of the court, the patient shall remain confined unless the court orders release or a less restrictive status.
E. The attorney of any patient in a treatment facility may review his client's medical record. If deemed essential by the attorney, portions of the record specifically required for proper representation pursuant to this Title, may be copied and given to the patient's attorney. The attorney shall return all copies of his client's medical record to the treatment facility upon completion of their use.
F. An emergency certificate shall constitute legal authority to transport a patient to a treatment facility and shall permit the director of such treatment facility to detain the patient for diagnosis and treatment for a period not to exceed fifteen days, and to return the patient to the facility if he is absent with or without permission during authorized periods of detention. If necessary, peace officers shall apprehend and transport, or ambulance services, under appropriate circumstances, may locate and transport, a patient on whom an emergency certificate has been completed to a treatment facility at the request of either the director of the facility, the certifying physician, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, or psychologist, the patient's next of kin, the patient's curator, or the agency legally responsible for his welfare. In the case of an emergency certificate issued pursuant to an examination conducted by telemedicine pursuant to Paragraph (B)(1) of this Section, a copy transmitted by facsimile or other electronic device shall be sufficient authority for the peace officer or ambulance worker to transport the patient to a treatment facility and for the director to accept such patient. The psychiatrist shall cause the original certificate to be deposited in the United States mail properly addressed to the director of the treatment facility by the next business day following the date of examination. The director of the treatment facility shall notify the patient's nearest relative, if known, or designated responsible party, if any, in writing, of the patient's admission by emergency certificate as soon as reasonably possible.
G.(1) Upon admission of any person by emergency certificate to a treatment facility, the director of the treatment facility shall immediately notify the coroner of the parish in which the treatment facility is located of the admission, giving the following information if known:
(a) The person's name.
(c) Date of birth.
(d) Name of certifying physician, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, or psychologist.
(e) Date and time of admission.
(f) The name and address of the treatment facility.
(2) Within seventy-two hours of admission, the person shall be independently examined by the coroner or his deputy who shall execute an emergency certificate, pursuant to Subsection B of this Section, which shall be a necessary precondition to the person's continued confinement. Except as provided in Paragraph (7) of this Subsection, if the actual examination by the psychiatrist in Paragraph (1) of Subsection B of this Section is conducted by telemedicine, the seventy-two-hour independent examination by the coroner shall be conducted in person.
(3) However, in the event that the coroner has made the initial examination and executed the first emergency commitment certificate then a second examination shall be made within the seventy-two hour period set forth in this Part by any physician at the treatment facility where the person is confined.
(4) In making either the initial examination or the second examination, when the coroner or his deputy examines the person and executes an emergency certificate and a reexamination of the person and reexecution of a certificate is necessary for any reason to insure the validity of the certificate, both the first examiner and the reexaminer shall be entitled to the fee for the service, unless they are one and the same.
(5) If, from his examination, the coroner concludes that the person is not a proper subject for emergency admission, then the person shall not be further detained in the treatment facility and shall be discharged by the director forthwith.
(6) When a person is confined in a treatment facility other than a state mental institution, the examining coroner in the parish where the patient is confined shall be entitled to the usual fee paid for this service to the coroner of the parish in which the patient is domiciled or residing. When a person is confined in a state mental institution in a parish other than his parish of domicile or residence, the examining coroner shall be entitled to the fee authorized by law in his parish for the service. In either case, the fee shall be paid and accurate records of such payments kept by the governing authority of the parish in which the patient is domiciled or residing from parish funds designated for the purpose of payment to the coroner. All coroners shall keep accurate records showing the number of patients confined in their parishes pursuant to this Section.
(7) As it relates to the parish of St. Tammany, all of the following shall apply:
(a) The coroner or deputy coroner, who is a physician, preferably a psychiatrist, may conduct an examination and execute an emergency certificate, as provided in Subparagraph (b) of this Paragraph by telemedicine utilizing video conferencing equipment, provided that all of the following are met:
(i) A licensed health care professional, who can adequately and accurately assist with obtaining any necessary information including but not limited to that information in Paragraph (B)(4) of this Section and where such health care professional will be present in the examining room with the patient at the time of the video conferencing.
(ii) The coroner or deputy coroner who is a physician, preferably a psychiatrist, shall comply with all of the provisions in Subsection F of this Section.
(b) The coroner or deputy coroner, who is a physician, preferably a psychiatrist, may conduct an examination and execute an emergency certificate, as provided in Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph by telemedicine under all of the following circumstances:
(i) If the initial examination, pursuant to Paragraph (B)(1) of this Section, has been made in person by a psychiatrist, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, or a psychologist.
(ii) If the coroner conducted the initial examination, pursuant to Paragraph (3) of this Subsection, by telemedicine and has executed the first emergency commitment certificate, a second examination shall be made in person within the seventy-two hour period set forth in this Part by any psychiatrist, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, or a psychologist at the treatment facility where the person is confined.
(c)(i) When a patient is transferred from another parish pursuant to an emergency certificate, a second physician's emergency certificate may be executed by a physician at the admitting facility.
(ii) The coroner shall be notified immediately following the execution of the second emergency certificate and shall conduct an independent examination within seventy-two hours as provided in Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, in the manner provided in accordance with Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph.
(iii) Nothing herein shall be construed to authorize a period of commitment to exceed fifteen days from the date and time the initial emergency certificate was executed in the parish of origin.
H. If the patient admitted to a treatment facility pursuant to this Section is a proper candidate for judicial commitment pursuant to R.S. 28:54, the director of the treatment facility, or any interested party, may apply for such commitment under provisions of that Section. Such a patient, hospitalized on an emergency certificate, for whom a petition for judicial commitment has been filed in court may continue to be detained for a further period on order of the court.
I. Every patient admitted by emergency certificate shall be informed in writing at the time of his admission of the procedures of requesting release from the treatment facility, the availability of counsel, information about the mental health advocacy service, the rights enumerated in R.S. 28:171 and the rules and regulations applicable to or concerning his conduct while a patient in the treatment facility. If the person is illiterate or does not read or understand English, appropriate provisions should be made to supply him this information. In addition, a copy of the information mentioned in this Subsection must be posted in any area where patients are confined and treated.
J.(1) Upon the request of a credible person of legal age who is financially unable to afford a private physician or who cannot immediately obtain an examination by a physician, the parish coroner may render, or the coroner or a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction may cause to be rendered by a physician, an actual examination of a person alleged to be mentally ill or suffering from substance abuse and in need of immediate medical treatment because he is dangerous to himself or others or is gravely disabled. The actual examination of the person by a psychiatrist may be conducted by telemedicine utilizing video conferencing technology provided that a licensed health care professional who can adequately and accurately assist with obtaining any necessary information including but not limited to the information listed in Paragraph (B)(4) of this Section shall be in the examination room with the patient at the time of the video conference. If the coroner is not a physician he may deputize a physician to perform this examination. To accomplish the examination authorized by this Subsection, if the coroner or the judge is apprehensive that his own safety or that of the deputy or other physician may be endangered thereby, he shall issue a protective custody order pursuant to R.S. 28:53.2.
(2) If the examining physician determines that the above standard is met, he shall execute an emergency certificate and shall transport or cause to be transported the person named in the emergency certificate to a treatment facility. Failure to render an actual examination prior to execution of the emergency certificate shall be evidence of gross negligence.
(3) In any instance where the coroner or his deputy executes the first emergency certificate, the second emergency certificate shall not be executed by the coroner or his deputy, but the second emergency certificate may be executed by any other physician including a physician at the treatment center. However, if the first examination by the coroner is conducted by a psychiatrist utilizing video conferencing technology, the second examination shall be conducted in person.
K.(1)(a) Patients admitted by emergency certificate may receive medication and treatment without their consent, but no major surgical procedure or electroshock therapy may be performed without the written consent of a court of competent jurisdiction after a hearing. With regard to the administration of medicine, if the patient objects to being medicated, prior to making a final decision, the treating physician shall make a reasonable effort to consult with the primary physician or primary care provider outside of the facility that has previously treated the patient for his mental condition. The treating physician shall, prior to the administration of such medication, record in the patient's file either the date and time of the consultation and a summary of the comments of the primary physician or primary care provider or, if the treating physician is unable to consult with the primary physician or primary care provider, the date and time that a consultation with the primary physician or primary care provider was attempted.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph, any licensed physician may administer medication to a patient without his consent and against his wishes in a situation which, in the reasonable judgment of the physician who is observing the patient during the emergency, constitutes a psychiatric or behavioral emergency. For purposes of this Paragraph a "psychiatric or behavioral emergency" occurs when a patient, as a result of mental illness, substance abuse, or intoxication engages in behavior which, in the clinical judgment of the physician, places the patient or others at significant and imminent risk of damage to life or limb. The emergency administration of medication may be continued until the emergency subsides, but in no event shall it exceed forty-eight hours, except on weekends or holidays when it may be extended for an additional twenty-four hours.
(c) The physician shall make a reasonable effort to consult with the primary physician or primary care provider outside the facility that has previously treated the patient for his mental condition at the earliest possible time, but in no event more than forty-eight hours after the emergency administration of medication has begun, except on weekends or holidays, when the time period may be extended an additional twenty-four hours. The physician shall record in the patient's file either the date and time of the consultation and a summary of the comments of the primary physician or primary care provider or, if the physician is unable to consult with the primary physician or primary care provider, the date and time that a consultation with the primary physician or primary care provider was attempted.
(2) If the director of the treatment facility, in consultation with two physicians, determines that the condition of such a patient is of such a critical nature that it may be life-threatening unless major surgical procedures or electroshock treatment is administered, such emergency measures may be performed without the consent otherwise provided for in this Section.
L.(1) A peace officer or a peace officer accompanied by an emergency medical service trained technician may take a person into protective custody and transport him to a treatment facility for a medical evaluation when, as a result of his personal observation, the peace officer or emergency medical service technician has reasonable grounds to believe the person is a proper subject for involuntary admission to a treatment facility because the person is acting in a manner dangerous to himself or dangerous to others, is gravely disabled, and is in need of immediate hospitalization to protect such a person or others from physical harm. The person may only be transported to one of the following:
(a) A community mental health center.
(b) A public or private general hospital.
(c) A public or private mental hospital.
(d) A detoxification center.
(e) A substance abuse clinic.
(f) A substance abuse in-patient facility.
(2) Upon arrival at the treatment facility, the escorting peace officer shall then be relieved of any further responsibility and the person shall be immediately examined by a physician, preferably a psychiatrist, who shall determine if the person shall be voluntarily admitted, admitted by emergency certificate, or discharged.
(3) In the case of a person suffering from substance abuse and where any of the above facilities are unavailable, the peace officer and emergency medical service technician may use whatever means or facilities available to protect the health and safety of the person suffering from substance abuse until such time as any of the above facilities become available. In taking a person into protective custody the peace officer and emergency medical service technician may take reasonable steps to protect themselves. A peace officer or emergency medical service technician who acts in compliance with this section is acting in the course of his official duty and cannot be subjected to criminal or civil liability as a result thereof.
M. Under the provisions of this Part no person shall be placed in protective custody for a period in excess of seventy-two hours. Any person placed in protective custody under the provisions of this Part shall be considered as an inmate for maintenance purposes only.
N.(1) Public and private general hospitals and their personnel who provide services in good faith for commitments defined in this Part shall not be liable for damages suffered by the patient as a result of the commitment or damages caused by the patient during the term of the commitment, unless the damage or injury was caused by willful or wanton negligence or gross misconduct. This limitation of liability shall only apply to public and private general hospital personnel who within the preceding twelve-month period have received appropriate training in nonviolent crisis intervention and such training has been documented in their personnel files. The training shall be provided by an instructor who has attended a course in crisis intervention taught by a certified instructor.
(2) The provisions of this Subsection shall not affect the provisions of R.S. 40:2113.6 or the Federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, 42 USC 1395dd.
O.(1) For the purposes of this Chapter, "public and private general hospital personnel" shall mean all persons who provide services or furnish assistance to a public or private general hospital in connection with the operations or delivery of patient care, including employees, independent contractors or volunteers.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of this Section or R.S. 28:63, "public and private general hospital personnel" does not include physician, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, medical psychologist, or psychologist as defined in R.S. 28:2, for the purpose of nonviolent crisis intervention training.
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
Our Mental Health Services division provides an invaluable service to the citizens of this parish. Under state law, the coroner has the legal authority to commit anyone who is homicidal, suicidal, or gravely disabled. Our office stands ready, willing and able to exercise this authority to ensure that our community remains safe and to ensure that those citizens suffering from mental illness are appropriately treated.
An Order for Protective Custody may be completed by a peace officer, emergency medical technician or other credible person when, to the best of his/her knowledge and belief, a person is mentally ill OR suffering from substance abuse and is in need of immediate treatment to protect the person or others from physical harm.
An Order for Protective Custody is for use with subjects who are unwilling to seek help on their own. If the subject is willing to seek help, he or she should go to the nearest Emergency Room, where they will receive appropriate evaluation and care. Do not bring patients to the Coroner's Office!
Orders for Protective Custody are valid for only 72 hours after signing. It is necessary to know where the subject is so that law enforcement can locate him or her. Law Enforcement can not "go look for" subjects who have had Orders for Protective Custody signed against them. Any person desiring to submit a request for an Order for Protective Custody must contact the Coroner's Office at (985) 537-7055
Any person that wants to submit an O.P.C. must come in person to the Lafourche Parish Coroner’s Office, at which time they will be required to fill out and sign an affidavit which includes a statement of facts, including observations, leading to the conclusion that the person is mentally ill, dangerous to himself/herself or others, suffering from substance abuse, or gravely disabled. Orders of Protective Custody can not be done over the telephone. The affiant must have firsthand knowledge of the events leading up to the signing of the Order.
The Order for Protective Custody allows law enforcement personnel to enter a residence where the subject is known to be, and take that subject, by force if necessary, to the nearest Emergency Room for a psychiatric evaluation. Upon arrival at the E.R., it is the E.R. Doctor's decision as to whether the subject requires further observation or whether the subject can be released. The Lafourche Parish Coroner's Office has no say in the decision to treat or not to treat. The Lafourche Parish Coroner's Office merely executes the legal order to take the subject against his or her will to the E. R. for evaluation.
An Order for Protective Custody is a legal affidavit. There is a penalty provided by LRS 28:63 (as amended by acts 2001-466) for lying or giving false information on the Order of Protective Custody.
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
QuestionWhat role does the Lafourche Parish Coroner's Office play in the commitment of individuals with mental health or substance abuse issues?
Under Louisiana law, the Coroner or a District Judge may issue an order for protective custody when ever a credible person signs a request for protective custody stating from personal observation that an individual has a mental illness or substance abuse problem and is acting in a manner which makes that person a danger to him/herself, a danger to others or gravely disabled, all as defined by Louisiana law.
QuestionWhat is an O.P.C.?
An O.P.C. is an order for protective custody issued by a Coroner or District Judge after any credible person (16 years old and above) signs a request for protective custody. It is a multi-tier document that orders law enforcement to take a person into police custody and transport that individual to an emergency room for a mental status exam.
QuestionWhen and how can an O.P.C. be issues? What costs are associated with the issue of an O.P.C.?
An O.P.C. can be applied for on a 24/7 basis every day of the year. An individual must begin the process by calling the 24/7 phone number of the Coroner at (985) 537-7055 No costs are associated with the issuance of an O.P.C.
QuestionCan an O.P.C. be issued against someone not currently located in Lafourche Parish Parish?
No. The O.P.C. is issued for a 72-hour period and can only be issued for a person located in Lafourche Parish.
QuestionCan a second O.P.C. be issued if the patient evades the police for the first O.P.C. 72-hour period?
No. Not unless a separate set of facts is done which makes the individual a danger to self or others, or gravely disabled.
QuestionOnce transported to a treatment center on an O.P.C., what happens to the .
Within 12 hours, the patient is given a mental status exam to determine if he/she meets the criteria for a physician emergency certificate (P.E.C.)
QuestionWhat is a P.E.C.?
A P.E.C. (sometimes called the first exam) is a physician emergency certificate issued by any physician, psychologist or mental health nurse practitioner after a medical exam when the patient is found to be suffering from a mental illness or substance abuse disorder and is a danger to self, a danger to others or gravely disabled.
QuestionWhat happens when a P.E.C. is issued or not issued?
If the P.E.C. is not issued after an exam because the patient no longer meets the legal criteria above, the patient is discharged.
If the P.E.C. is issued, then the patient is involuntarily detained at the treatment center for 72 hours until a second exam is done by the Coroner, usually called a Coroner Emergency Certificate (C.E.C.)
QuestionWhat happens when a C.E.C. is issued or not issued?
If the CEC is issued, then the patient may be detained involuntarily for up to an additional 12 days from the date and time of the originating PEC.
If the CEC is denied, then the original PEC is rendered null and void, and the patient will be discharged.
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