Leaving aside the whys and wherefores, I'm curious as to how somebody who had no wish to be hospitalised can get a bill for services she/he did not seek.
That goes on all the time, not just in the case of involuntary psych patients, but also when the police call for an ambulance to have someone taken to an ER for other types of medical care.
After I was in a bad auto accident, I was taken to an ER while I was unconscious--I was not the one seeking treatment at that hospital, or any hospital, the decision regarding my treatment was made by others--the police, the ER doctors.
As it turned out, the hospital I was taken to was a municipal hospital because that was the closest facility, and only after I was discharged and received a very hefty bill, did I become aware that my medical insurance did not cover treatment at a municipal hospital. Had I been taken to any private hospital, the bill would have been covered. Had I been aware of that, and had I had any say in the matter, I would have requested I be taken to a nearby private hospital--it was not a life or death situation. I certainly would have requested a transfer to another hospital after my ER treatment, rather than be admitted to the one I was taken to.
Legally, I was responsible for that hospital bill, and eventually, with the help of a lawyer, the hospital agreed to settle for less than the full amount, and my auto insurance covered most of that. If I had no medical insurance, or personal injury coverage under my auto insurance, and had been taken to a private hospital, I would have been in the same situation.
All medical hospital ER and inpatient treatment is regarded as simply medical treatment, including psychiatric treatment, and all patients are responsible for their hospital bills unless they are indigent, and that is the case whether they are auto accident victims, heart attack victims, or involuntary psych patients--none of whom might have sought voluntary admission. In the case of involuntary status psych patients, they have been found to be in need of inpatient psychiatric treatment by physicians, in effect, acting as agents of the state under the Mental Health laws. As long as the involuntary status was lawfully determined, and as long as the patient received the treatment deemed necessary, the patient is responsible for the bill, since the inpatient treatment was deemed necessary--medically necessary.
Part of the problem is the lack of universal health care coverage here, quite apart from issues of involuntary treatment. But, even with private insurance, it may not cover a total hospital bill, leaving a patient responsible for the balance. In the case of an involuntary psych patient, those charges for treatment are not regarded as dissimilar from any other unexpected medical condition or illness that might require treatment and hospitalization--that the treatment was not voluntarily sought is immaterial in terms of the hospital's billing procedures, if the treatment deemed necessary was delivered, the hospital is considered entitled to be reimbursed. Indigent patients, without assets or insurance, will have these costs covered by the state.
It's not an area that is without controversy, and there are exceptions made in the case of some types of involuntary hospital confinements, but courts have generally continued to uphold the hospital's right to have their bills paid, whether by the patient, or their insurance carrier.