Quote from tinasueb73
Can a patient be detained in any facility without a involuntarily committment certificate or if a patient is a suspected "overdose", is it within our guidelines to attempt to keep someone hospitalized if they do not want to be?
Generally speaking, a patient must be a clear danger to him/herself or others to be detained, and the doctor must initiate emergency detention order proceedings for this to happen.
Several years ago I was involved in a situation in which there was a dispute when a patient wanted to leave my mental health unit. The patient called his attorney, who came to visit him. The attorney demanded the immediate release of the patient, which I told him I did not have the authority to do without a physician order. He threatened to have me arrested. In the meantime, the patient's psychiatrist came to the unit for rounds. He got into a heated argument with the lawyer, which I had to ask them to take to a private area to keep from disturbing the other patients. Meanwhile the patient - who was the most calm and rational of all the principals in this - apologized to the staff for what the situation had degenerated into. The house supervisor came by and she was worried about the situation, but I told her to just continue her rounds and I would call her when the dust settled. Finally I called our unit medical director - a more experienced and level-headed individual than the one fighting with the attorney, and a veteran psychiatrist himself. He asked me if I believed the patient qualified for an emergency detention order, and I told him "no". He asked me to bring the other psychiatrist to the phone. They talked it out, and the patient was allowed to leave AMA.
It was a lot crazier than it needed to be. I never understood the attending psychiatrist's obsession with keeping the patient on the unit regardless of what the patient wanted, because he wasn't dangerous.