WHERE IS THE HAPPY MEDIUM???
It has taken me a week to calm down enough to write this diary. Once again my friend was illegally Baker Acted a week ago today. The reason? Because she “looked tired.” What a crock of manure!! When she got up to 5E, the on-call doctor stated that she didn’t need to be there. Another doctor over road him stating “based on her past history I think that the original order will stand.” It was at that time the we learned that this doctor was the husband of the admitting psychiatrist. WTH?? CAN YOU SPELL CONFLICT OF INTEREST? This baker act was nothing short of false imprisonment.
Nearly all of the patient rights have been violated. When I have actually brought paperwork in to said personnel on 5E, they mocking tell me that “their policies trump both state and federal laws.” Seriously?? It makes me mad enough to spit and my friend has to walk on eggshells while waiting to get out.
Why is it that we have on one side someone that is being illegally baker acted continuously and yet Vet Wife’s husband cannot get in to see a psychiatrist for over a year – regardless of whom she calls, and let me tell you, she has made numerous calls trying to get her husband in to psychiatrist. I had her on the phone talking to his primary care nurse and her telling VetWife “what is it you want?” My God, how much clearer could “He needs to be seen by a psychiatrist” can you get??!!
Both cases are part of the same VISN. Both cases fall under Gainesville’s Malcom Randall VA Hospital. Why is there no consistency within the system? We have, literally, both sides of the spectrum. One side you have to tiptoe around or they’re going to have you picked up and slammed into the Psych ward unnecessarily and the other side can get no care at all. What is wrong with this picture??
One may think I am beating a dead horse on this issue, but it has to STOP! We are looking at Veterans that are being mistreated. As I am my friends medical advocate, I have see first hand how the veterans are treated. They lost not only their constitutional rights, they also lose their civil rights. It’s like you have walked into another country. And don’t even get me started on the Vines – that place is a freaking nightmare. Read VetWife’s diaries on it. Jack is 100% total and permanently disabled adjudicated service connected PTSD. VetWife point blank asked Jack if he thought he was getting the proper mental health care he needed and he point blank said NO. He liked his primary care doctor and his psychologist, but that he wasn’t getting the proper care insofar as his evaluation and psych meds were concerned.
I have listed part of the law regarding the Baker Act below. You can look up it’s entirety at http://myflfamilies.com/....
394-455 Definitions.--As used in this part, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the term:
(7) "Court," unless otherwise specified, means the circuit court.
394-459 Rights of patients
(1) RIGHT TO INDIVIDUAL DIGNITY.--It is the policy of this state that the individual dignity of the patient shall be respected at all times and upon all occasions, including any occasion when the patient is taken into custody, held, or transported. Procedures, facilities, vehicles, and restraining devices utilized for criminals or those accused of crime shall not be used in connection with persons who have a mental illness, except for the protection of the patient or others. Persons who have a mental illness but who are not charged with a criminal offense shall not be detained or incarcerated in the jails of this state. A person who is receiving treatment for mental illness shall not be deprived of any constitutional rights. However, if such a person is adjudicated incapacitated, his or her rights may be limited to the same extent the rights of any incapacitated person are limited by law.
(5) COMMUNICATION, ABUSE REPORTING, AND VISITS.--
(a) Each person receiving services in a facility providing mental health services under this part has the right to communicate freely and privately with persons outside the facility unless it is determined that such communication is likely to be harmful to the person or others. Each facility shall make available as soon as reasonably possible to persons receiving services a telephone that allows for free local calls and access to a long-distance service. A facility is not required to pay the costs of a patient's long-distance calls. The telephone shall be readily accessible to the patient and shall be placed so that the patient may use it to communicate privately and confidentially. The facility may establish reasonable rules for the use of this telephone, provided that the rules do not interfere with a patient's access to a telephone to report abuse pursuant to paragraph (e).
(c) Each facility must permit immediate access to any patient, subject to the patient's right to deny or withdraw consent at any time, by the patient's family members, guardian, guardian advocate, representative, Florida statewide or local advocacy council, or attorney, unless such access would be detrimental to the patient. If a patient's right to communicate or to receive visitors is restricted by the facility, written notice of such restriction and the reasons for the restriction shall be served on the patient, the patient's attorney, and the patient's guardian, guardian advocate, or representative; and such restriction shall be recorded on the patient's clinical record with the reasons therefor. The restriction of a patient's right to communicate or to receive visitors shall be reviewed at least every 7 days. The right to communicate or receive visitors shall not be restricted as a means of punishment. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to limit the provisions of paragraph (d).
(8) HABEAS CORPUS.--
(a) At any time, and without notice, a person held in a receiving or treatment facility, or a relative, friend, guardian, guardian advocate, representative, or attorney, or the department, on behalf of such person, may petition for a writ of habeas corpus to question the cause and legality of such detention and request that the court order a return to the writ in accordance with chapter 79. Each patient held in a facility shall receive a written notice of the right to petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
(b) At any time, and without notice, a person who is a patient in a receiving or treatment facility, or a relative, friend, guardian, guardian advocate, representative, or attorney, or the department, on behalf of such person, may file a petition in the circuit court in the county where the patient is being held alleging that the patient is being unjustly denied a right or privilege granted herein or that a procedure authorized herein is being abused. Upon the filing of such a petition, the court shall have the authority to conduct a judicial inquiry and to issue any order needed to correct an abuse of the provisions of this part.
(c) The administrator of any receiving or treatment facility receiving a petition under this subsection shall file the petition with the clerk of the court on the next court working day.
(d) No fee shall be charged for the filing of a petition under this subsection.
(9) VIOLATIONS.--The department shall report to the Agency for Health Care Administration any violation of the rights or privileges of patients, or of any procedures provided under this part, by any facility or professional licensed or regulated by the agency. The agency is authorized to impose any sanction authorized for violation of this part, based solely on the investigation and findings of the department.
(10) LIABILITY FOR VIOLATIONS.--Any person who violates or abuses any rights or privileges of patients provided by this part is liable for damages as determined by law. Any person who acts in good faith in compliance with the provisions of this part is immune from civil or criminal liability for his or her actions in connection with the admission, diagnosis, treatment, or discharge of a patient to or from a facility. However, this section does not relieve any person from liability if such person commits negligence.
(11) RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN TREATMENT AND DISCHARGE PLANNING.--The patient shall have the opportunity to participate in treatment and discharge planning and shall be notified in writing of his or her right, upon discharge from the facility, to seek treatment from the professional or agency of the patient's choice.
(12) POSTING OF NOTICE OF RIGHTS OF PATIENTS.--Each facility shall post a notice listing and describing, in the language and terminology that the persons to whom the notice is addressed can understand, the rights provided in this section. This notice shall include a statement that provisions of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act apply and the name and telephone number of a person to contact for further information. This notice shall be posted in a place readily accessible to patients and in a format easily seen by patients. This notice shall include the telephone numbers of the Florida local advocacy council and Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc.
394.463 Involuntary examination.--
(1) CRITERIA.--A person may be taken to a receiving facility for involuntary examination if there is reason to believe that the person has a mental illness and because of his or her mental illness:
(a)1. The person has refused voluntary examination after conscientious explanation and disclosure of the purpose of the examination; or
2. The person is unable to determine for himself or herself whether examination is necessary; and
(b)1. Without care or treatment, the person is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself or herself; such neglect or refusal poses a real and present threat of substantial harm to his or her well-being; and it is not apparent that such harm may be avoided through the help of willing family members or friends or the provision of other services; or
2. There is a substantial likelihood that without care or treatment the person will cause serious bodily harm to himself or herself or others in the near future, as evidenced by recent behavior.
5:28 PM PT: My friend was Baker Acted at approximately 1:30 pm, Monday July 28th. She refused to sign in voluntarily thus forcing them to involuntarily Baker Act her. She was released on Tuesday, July 29th as there was no legal documentation to keep her.
She has lost all trust in her doctors. In my humble opinion they need to fee her out to a private psychiatrist. She has been Baker Acted 15 times in as many months. I don't know how she had done it other than the fact that my friend is a licensed social worker, so she knows how to "play the game," which she shouldn't have to do.