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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116165
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Patient is being held unnecessarily against her will at

Customer Question

Patient is being held unnecessarily against her will at Chicago Behavioral Hospital. Only the staff psychiatrist can discharge patient. After three days of detention the doctor has not spoken to her. The doctor will not speak to family about the patient. How can release from this detention be effected?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Illinois.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No. Don't know what to file, or where to file. The hospital is a Kafkaesque black hole.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 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.
They cannot hold a patient involuntarily beyond 72 hours without a court order and that requires proof the patient is a danger to themselves or others. If the patient is being held on an involuntary commitment and it has been 3 days, then the family needs to obtain a local attorney, because they need to file suit in court to seek the release of the patient and serve the hospital. The hospital would have to answer and provide proof that the patient is a danger to themselves or others in order to continue holding them in the facility.
The doctor does not have to speak to family unless the patient has signed a HIPAA release to allow the doctor to speak to a family member and disclose personal health information.
So you need to get her a local attorney to represent her and they need to file for an emergency court order for her release.