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Medical Malpractice or Negligence, Held Against My Will in Hospital

 
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2014 11:19 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
his post was hitchcockian if near true

If near true, it still wouldn't be malpractice, it would be a criminal case--for kidnapping and illegal detainment. But I suspect he's paranoid enough, and doesn't need to hear things like that.

That's why inpatient rights are so carefully protected--to keep things like that from becoming true.
Quote:
I still think that people taken there, at least for the first time, are frightened out of their gourds even if completely sober.

I don't know if that's true. It hasn't been the case for people I've known who have been hospitalized. The units themselves aren't frightening, most are pleasant looking, the atmosphere is generally calm, patients socialize with each other, they have activities, OT, music therapy, art therapy, group therapy, sessions with psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, etc. and psych nurses are usually friendly and spend much more time talking with patients than those on a medical unit might. I think initial anxiety about being in that sort of unfamiliar environment wears off fairly quickly because the patient sees there is nothing really to fear, and they constantly see people being discharged--these are short-term units, and many patients respond quite quickly to medication.

Someone who is very paranoid and suspicious--and feels they are being "held captive"--or that their food might be poisoned--or that the doctors are just pretending to be doctors--might remain more frightened, but that's mainly because of their psychiatric condition, not because of the atmosphere on the unit, or the way they are being treated. But that's why they're there. The mental illness itself can be terrifying.
Quote:
But so far I take him as him being sincere.

But, by the time of discharge, most patients do know why they were there.

He can be sincere, but also lacking in insight or understanding, and unable to acknowledge the problems that landed him in the hospital.

What's provoked his current curiosity about the whole issue is that $5000 bill he doesn't want to have to pay.

I do hope he does make an appointment to see the outpatient psychiatrist he saw after his discharge, and find out from him why he was admitted, what his symptoms were, and what his discharge diagnosis was--because he should know those things, just as a part of his medical history. He should want to know those things, even though they have nothing to do with a malpractice suit, because he needs to get another perspective on that hospital experience beside just his own. That's also why he should talk to his family about it as well. He might need hospitalization again in the future, so he needs to better understand why the first one was felt to be necessary.

I'm not unsympathetic to him.

But a lot of people felt he needed to be hospitalized, and it's important for him to try to understand why they felt that way. That might help the whole experience to be viewed differently by him. It's not helpful for him to think he was "held captive" for 3 weeks--with his family's blessing--and treated for a non-existent bogus psychiatric condition, and given medication he didn't think he needed that he feels might have damaged his brain, just because the hospital wanted to make money off of him. He needs to try to understand why all of those people felt he needed that inpatient treatment, because his own version sounds pretty paranoid and possibly delusional.






ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2014 11:22 pm
@firefly,
Perhaps places have changed since I visited my father in the sixties. I still figure some patients are frightened, especially at non tip-top hospitals.
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 12:08 am
@ossobuco,
Quote:
Perhaps places have changed since I visited my father in the sixties. I still figure some patients are frightened, especially at non tip-top hospitals.

Things have changed drastically since the 60's--mainly because medications and treatments have changed drastically.

In the 60's they were still doing insulin shock therapy, a great deal of ECT, and the medications weren't as effective, and had considerably more undesirable side effects, than the ones they use now.

Now they can get most patients stabilized on meds pretty quickly, and get them out of the hospital pretty quickly--that alone makes a big difference. And they use things like music therapy, art therapy, etc. to help patients deal with fears in ways other than just talking about them.

I'm sure that some patients are still frightened the first time they are hospitalized, but I think they get a lot more support and help in dealing with that now. Hospitals now must document that they are actively, and continuously, delivering care to meet specific treatment goals--they have to have a treatment plan with both short and long term goals--and a treatment team has to evaluate it at least weekly. So patients get a lot more attention, and interaction with staff, than was the case in the 60's, because the hospital is held more accountable in terms of providing service, and the emphasis is on getting patients discharged ASAP.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 12:16 am


"what do they want you to do?.....Do it, do what ever they say"
0 Replies
 
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 07:07 am
I'm sure the law states that a person can only be detained and medicated in psychiatric hospitals if they're a danger to themselves and to others, which seems fair enough to me.
For example my solicitor once sent me to a shrink in connection with a court case I was involved in, but he soon saw I wasn't nutty and i was free to walk back out..Smile
0 Replies
 
lmur
 
  3  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 07:30 am
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.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 12:04 pm
@lmur,
Darn good question. Sounds like a hospital conducting a series of hit and run accidents with personal injuries when Corporate tells them the occupancy rate is a little.
0 Replies
 
Romeo Fabulini
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 12:13 pm
Here in Britain it's known as "being sectioned" if you're forced to go to hospital with mental illness.
For example boxer Frank Bruno had a nervous breakdown a few years ago and the newspaper headlines said "Frank Bruno Sectioned'.
Here's a bit from a psychiatric website-

Being sectioned (in England and Wales)
Being sectioned means being admitted to hospital whether or not you agree to it. The legal authority for your admission to hospital comes from the Mental Health Act rather than from your consent. This is usually because you are unable or unwilling to consent.
The term ‘sectioned’ just means using a ‘section’ or paragraph from the Mental Health Act as the authority for your detention. A better word is 'detained'. You are detained under the Mental Health Act. The paragraph or ‘section’ number is often used so a patient may be told they are on a section 2 or section 3.

The Mental Health Act is used about 50,000 times a year in England and Wales. This isn’t 50,000 people because some people may be detained several times within a year.

You could be Sectioned if you have, or are thought to have a mental illness which needs assessment or treatment which is
sufficiently serious that it is necessary for your health or safety, or for the protection of other people,
The process usually starts because your GP, a family member, a police officer or psychiatrist is worried about your mental health.


FULL ARTICLE HERE- http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/problemsdisorders/beingsectionedengland.aspx
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2014 01:17 pm
@lmur,
Quote:
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.

lmur
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2014 07:13 am
@firefly,
Thanks for that reply, firefly. I appreciate the time and care you put into it.

firefly wrote:
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.

One could argue about the fairness of the System I suppose, but that's a whole other topic in and of itself. Consider my curiosity sated!
0 Replies
 
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2014 07:29 am
@inquiz85,
How did the close relative force you to go? Were you shackled or restrained in some way on your way to the hospital? Do you have a history of mentall illness? How many admissions have you had to psych facilities? Usually even if mentally ill , they won't hold you unless you are a danger to yourself or others. Doctors are not in cahoots with hospitals to abduct healthy citizens and extract large sums of cash. What diagnosis was given to you?
0 Replies
 
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2014 07:52 am
Anybody can discharge themselves from hospital in Britain providing they haven't been sectioned.
For example I was knocked off my bike by a hit and run driver some years ago and woke up in the gutter. Somebody called an ambulance to scrape me up and I was taken to hospital with some minor cuts and bruises and my head soon cleared.
"We'll get you fixed up with some tetanus shots" said the doctor, but I didn't fancy them, so I sneaked out when his back was turned..Smile
(I never did get tetanus)

But if somebody's been Sectioned I think it'd be much harder to sneak out because they'd probably put you in the "Secure Unit" of the hospital which has bars and locked doors, and you'd have to tunnel out or build a glider to fly off the roof..
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2014 08:15 am
@Romeo Fabulini,
So, I take "sanctioned" as meaning court-ordered. Here in the U.S. , in order for a Psych facility to hold a patient over 24 hours a court-order is required. A multi-disciplinary team (including a judge) meets and decides based on presented evidence. It is not up to one individual. This is only the case with psychiatric issues. For other issues all that required is for an individual to sign a form refusing treatment. I noticed the original poster isn't commenting anymore.
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2014 09:25 am
@Germlat,
Quote:
Here in the U.S. , in order for a Psych facility to hold a patient over 24 hours a court-order is required. A multi-disciplinary team (including a judge) meets and decides based on presented evidence. It is not up to one individual. This is only the case with psychiatric issues. For other issues all that required is for an individual to sign a form refusing treatment.


Germlat, that is not true in all states. It is not true in the state the opening poster was hospitalized in--NYS. Neither a multi-disciplinary team, nor a judge, nor a court order, is involved to retain an involuntary psych patient over 24 hours in NY. Mental Health laws differ from state to state.

I posted this previously in this thread.
Quote:
An involuntary admission in NYS requires that two physicians, and someone the patient knows, all agree that hospitalization is necessary for psychiatric treatment--someone can be involuntarily hospitalized for up to 60 days on that 2 pc admission. An emergency admission--because of danger to self or others--can only be for up to 15 days. inquiz85 was likely admitted on a 2 pc, judging by the length of stay.


If the treating psychiatrists feel the patient needs continued hospitalization, beyond those 15/60 day limits in NY, then they may seek a court order to extend the stay. And if the patient, or a family member or friend, feels the hospitalization is no longer necessary before the expiration of those time limits, they can apply for a court hearing to seek release.

And an involuntary psych patient can refuse treatment while hospitalized.

The commitment order is only to retain the patient in a psychiatric facility, but, while in the hospital, the patient generally has the same rights as any other hospitalized medical patient regarding refusing treatment.
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2014 10:33 am
@firefly,
I didn't know regulations regarding involuntary commitment varied so widely from state to state....learn something new every day. Refusal of treatment is tricky. For instance, insertion of nasogastric tubes to force feed anorexic patients is not uncommon in many places. Also-- chemical and physical restraints are regularly employed in emergency situations...and even seclusion is utilized as treatment. So refusing treatment is conditional and more than likely varies greatly from one place to another.
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2014 11:31 am
@Germlat,
Quote:
So refusing treatment is conditional and more than likely varies greatly from one place to another.

For life-saving purposes, or to prevent injuries, measures can be used, but these are very limited to emergency or crisis management situations. Generally, involuntary psych inpatients can refuse medications, including the medications to treat the psychiatric conditions they were hospitalized for, just as any other hospitalized patient can refuse medication.

All state laws, of any kind, including the Mental Health laws, can vary from state to state.
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2014 11:43 am
The bottom line is, the doctors will release a mental patient whenever they judge he'll no longer be a threat to himself or to anybody else, which could take days, weeks, months, years, it seems fair enough to me.
For example in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', Jack Nicholson says to one of the doctors assistants something like- "I'm only here for 60 days then I'm outta here", but the assistant says "Wrong buddy, you're outta here when WE say you're outta here!", which could be forever.
The moral?- if ever we find ourself in a nuthouse, just be sensible and normal and they'll let us out pretty quick..Smile
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2014 12:40 pm
@firefly,
I understand the reasons as to why some situations are perceived as life threatening. A "crisis" can be subjective in a sense though. I once read an article concerning a judge in England (maybe Wales) who upheld a person's right to commit suicide. I also read a case file on a 3 year-old child (chronic temper tantrums)who has placed by his parents in a private psych institution. Laws do vary. If it had been up to me I would've institutionalized the mother.
0 Replies
 
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2014 12:44 pm
@Romeo Fabulini,
Never watched it...but big Nicholson fan here. He plays a nut really well. Did you watch "As Good as it Gets" or "Anger Management"...hilarious.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2014 12:58 pm
@Romeo Fabulini,
Romeo Fabulini wrote:
.
The moral?- if ever we find ourself in a nuthouse, just be sensible and normal and they'll let us out pretty quick..Smile


Really? I heard of an experiment where a group of psychiatrists were watching a group of patients who had been diagnosed with various mental disorders. The thing was, that the experiment was being carried out on the psychiatrists, the "patients" were all actors.

everything the patients did was seen as being symptomatic of the mental disorder they were said to be suffering from.

The moral? Once someone in a white coat labels you nuts, you're stuffed.
 

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