Psychiatric Emergencies Ethical And Legal Issues Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Nursing Type: Essay Paper: #33892835 Related Topics: Suicide, Mental Illness, Risk Assessment, Suicide Prevention
Excerpt from Essay :

Legal and Ethical Issues Related to Psychiatric Emergencies

Psychiatric emergencies usually occur in children and adults due to mental problems such as change in mood and behavior. These emergencies can lead to involuntary holds of the individual by either the police or health institutions that deal with psychiatric disorders. These holds help ensure the safety of the patient. The emergencies arise from cases such as suicide attempts, agitation, etc. There are various state laws that allow patients to be held against their consent. The context in this case happens to be the state of New York. From a general perspective, the law allows an individual with mental illness to be held against their will if they pose a threat to others, if they pose a threat to their own life, or if they are disabled and unable to provide for themselves due to the mental illness.

One of the persons that are allowed to hold a patient involuntary are the police. Police hold mentally ill individuals who have broken the law with the hope that by having him or her in their custody, they will be able to protect the society. Medical providers are also allowed to involuntary hold patients with mental illness so as to help them recover. Involuntary hold involves a maximum of 3-days or 72-hour period whereby the patient receives emergency medical care before further help is offered. According to the Welfare and Institutions Code (2014), if you were brought into a mental health facility against your will due to the psychiatric emergencies, you may be held for up to 72 hours for treatment and evaluation unless the person in charge can establish that you need an additional 14 days of mental health treatment. Medical practitioners and the police are the ones involved in releasing emergency holds depending on the condition of the patient or after a court ruling to release the patient. After the hold is over and the patient is released, the patients rights advocate picks up the patient.

Emergency hospitalization for psychiatric hold involves the involuntary admission of patients with mental illness in a health facility or a law enforcement facility. In emergency hospitalization…The hospital will then decide on which patient to accept in their facility.

Due to the increased cases of suicide resulting from mental illnesses, methods of preventing suicide must be put in place. One of the method used is risk assessment. Suicide risk assessment involves presenting those at risk to clinical settings and monitoring them directly so as to ensure that the relevant interventions are offered. Brodsky (2018) reveal how in the U.S., National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention came up with a Zero Suicide Model. This model involves assessing, evaluating, and monitoring the patients in order to achieve zero suicide.

Violence from mentally ill patients have become a great concern in the society. As Anderson & Jenson (2018) tell us, approximately 90% of physicians and nurses working in mental health areas have been subject to violence from patients. In order to end the violence, various screening tools on violence risk assessment must be used. Danger Assessment tool is one of the tool nurses and physicians use to assess risks associated with violence. This involves assessing a potential dangerous behavior in…

Sources Used in Documents:


Markiewicz, I., Heitzman, J. & Ziemba, G.E. (2016). Involuntary psychiatric holds-the structure of admissions on the example of Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology. Psychiatr Pol, 50(1), 7-18. DOI: 10.12740/PP/33336

Bender, D., Pande, N. & Ludwig, M. (2008). A Literature Review: Psychiatric Boarding.

Menninger, A.J. (n. d). Involuntary Treatment: Hospitalization and Medications.

Torrey, E. F. & Zdanowicz, M. (2001). Outpatient commitment: what, why, and for whom. Psychiart Serv., 52(3), 337-41. DOI: 10.1176/

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