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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 111657
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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I have been traveling to Thailand and various other

Customer Question

I have been traveling to Thailand and various other countries for the last three years. During this time I have been home once. My mother has been in disapproval of my absence and has been very difficult. Two months ago I was traveling home for my little brothers wedding. I arrive at airport and my mother picks me up and takes me to her home. To my surprise my grandfather came up to welcome me home. We ate dinner in the home and I went to sleep early. In the morning I am woken up by my grandfather who tells me I have some friends downstairs. So I go down and see some old military friends whom I have not seen nor talked to in 10 years. Also, one lady who I have never seen before. I came to realize I was at my own intervention that my mother organized and planned. They ask me to listen and I do. They ask me to go to the VA hospital to talk to check into a rehab program. Now I would like you all to know that I am not a drug addict nor alcoholic, however I am rated 70% for severe ptsd and anxiety which is service connected which is why they asked me to go to the VA and not a private hospital. I have my mother crying and my grandfather and old friends who I barely know anymore all asking me to go and see the staff and move home and everything I should have said no and stood strong but I didn't and I said I will do anything you all ask of me. So my mother drove me to the VA hospital in North Chicago, Illinois and I checked into the hospital with my name and said rehab and my service connected anxiety/ptsd. I did not see my family or friends again and I was with the staff in the back taking vitals and answering questions when one nurse and I decided that I was not in need of that medical attention and I should go home and make an appointment and talk to the VA about a program if they feel its necessary. So I got dressed and freely started to walk out when I get halfway down the hall and the hospital police detain me and a four person psych team walk in and tell me that my family and friends have made statements that I am a suicide risk and a risk to others. I just got off a plane from Thailand within the last 24 hours ok. I ask what was going on and was told nothing other than at this time you will either cooperate and calm down or we will give you medication that will help you calm down and if you refuse you will be given a shot that will make you cooperate. I was not told where i was going, was not given any information at all whatsoever other than asking how i was feeling and did I need something to help. I am getting frustrated writing this just thinking about it. So then they told me to sign a document saying that I was there voluntarily which I refused to sign. They attempted to get me to sign at least 3 times informing me that I will not be going anywhere if I don't sign and a judge who will do what the staff advise him will keep me there a minimum of 30 days or until the treatment and dr feels I am stable. So after holding out for a full day I signed it only because they made me feel like I had no choice if I wanted to get out of there. In all I was there for 3 days. The reason I was released is the director of the psych ward told me that this situation of my story and my mothers and friends story did not make sense. So she had two friends come in and have a meeting with me and she asked them why they made the statements they did and they said they did not mean to make the statements and that was a misunderstanding. She looked at me and said give me two hours to finish paperwork so you can go.So do I have anything I can do or anyone to hold accountable or have I just been through the most dramatic experience of my life and I was in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Marine Sniper. I do not joke with you one bit when I say I was scared in that hospital.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am afraid that the only party you could try to sue is your mother if she made known false statements to the hospital to seek to get you committed. The hospital is not liable, since the law allows for an emergency commitment up to 3 days for evaluation, which is really what you described as ending up occurring in your situation. If the commitment was based on false statements from your mother, the only possible option is suing her for the damages and pain and suffering her false statement caused.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Would the hospital have a record of the statements that made the hospital feel they had the legal responsibility to keep me involuntarily? If they have the statements, will they release them to me or will I need to get a lawyer for that?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
The hospital would have a record and it should be part of your medical record which you are allowed to request in writing pursuant to HIPAA.
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