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Question: Can a person be held against their will in a hospital? Situation: I am a recovering alcoholic. I drank 2 nights ago and my wife decided that she would try to kill herself "to get my attention" (her words). She says she was not actually going to do it but it went further than expected. Of course, no doctor is going to believe that story. Very long story short, she is now in ICU and when I talk to her she seems very lucid. Even though she is medically (and I think psycologically) sound, they will not let her leave and they are going to send her to a "long term care" facility. She has several medical conditions for which she takes quite a few meds. They won't give her any of those and she is now in tremendous pain. I gues there are 2 questions here. Can she be detained and are they required to treat her pre-existing medical conditions while she is in the hospital? We are in Illinois if that makes a difference.
Response: Unfortunately she can be detained if she is perceived to be a danger to herself or others. Yes, she also needs to be treated for her pre-existing medical conditions. The Statutes require that she be evaluated and treated (given medication) and also be informed of her right to refuse treatment If she refuses the medication, the medication would not be given to her unless it is necessary to prevent serious harm to herself or others. See 405 ILCS 5/ Article VI Section 405 ILCS 5/3-600 to 405 ILCS 5/3-611 especially Sections 405 ILCS 5/3‑608 to 405 ILCS 5/3-611:
(405 ILCS 5/3‑608) (from Ch. 91 1/2, par. 3‑608)
Sec. 3‑608. Upon completion of one certificate, the facility may begin treatment of the respondent. However, the respondent shall be informed of his right to refuse medication and if he refuses, medication shall not be given unless it is necessary to prevent the respondent from causing serious harm to himself or others. The facility shall record what treatment is given to the respondent together with the reasons therefor.
(Source: P.A. 80‑1414.)
(405 ILCS 5/3‑609) (from Ch. 91 1/2, par. 3‑609)
Sec. 3‑609. Within 12 hours after his admission, the respondent shall be given a copy of the petition and a statement as provided in Section 3‑206. Not later than 24 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, after admission, a copy of the petition and statement shall be given or sent to the respondent's attorney and guardian, if any. The respondent shall be asked if he desires such documents sent to any other persons, and at least 2 such persons designated by the respondent shall receive such documents. The respondent shall be allowed to complete no less than 2 telephone calls at the time of his admission to such persons as he chooses.
(Source: P.A. 80‑1414.)
(405 ILCS 5/3‑610) (from Ch. 91 1/2, par. 3‑610)
Sec. 3‑610. As soon as possible but not later than 24 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, after admission of a respondent pursuant to this Article, the respondent shall be examined by a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist may be a member of the staff of the facility but shall not be the person who executed the first certificate. If a certificate has already been completed by a psychiatrist following the respondent's admission, the respondent shall be examined by another psychiatrist or by a physician, clinical psychologist, or qualified examiner. If, as a result of this second examination, a certificate is executed, the certificate shall be promptly filed with the court. If the certificate states that the respondent is subject to involuntary admission but not in need of immediate hospitalization, the respondent may remain in his or her place of residence pending a hearing on the petition unless he or she voluntarily agrees to inpatient treatment. If the respondent is not examined or if the psychiatrist, physician, clinical psychologist, or qualified examiner does not execute a certificate pursuant to Section 3‑602, the respondent shall be released forthwith.
(Source: P.A. 96‑1399, eff. 7‑29‑10; 96‑1453, eff. 8‑20‑10.)
(405 ILCS 5/3‑611) (from Ch. 91 1/2, par. 3‑611)
Sec. 3‑611. Within 24 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, after the respondent's admission under this Article, the facility director of the facility shall file 2 copies of the petition, the first certificate, and proof of service of the petition and statement of rights upon the respondent with the court in the county in which the facility is located. Upon completion of the second certificate, the facility director shall promptly file it with the court. The facility director shall make copies of the certificates available to the attorneys for the parties upon request. Upon the filing of the petition and first certificate, the court shall set a hearing to be held within 5 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, after receipt of the petition. The court shall direct that notice of the time and place of the hearing be served upon the respondent, his responsible relatives, and the persons entitled to receive a copy of the petition pursuant to Section 3‑609.