Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 5531

February Session, 2016

 

LCO No. 2471

 

*02471_______JUD*

Referred to Committee on JUDICIARY

 

Introduced by:

 

(JUD)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING THE CARE AND TREATMENT OF PERSONS WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS OR SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2016) (a) As used in this section:

(1) "Facility" means any inpatient or outpatient hospital, clinic, skilled nursing facility or other facility for the diagnosis, observation or treatment of persons with a mental illness or substance use disorder;

(2) "Patient" means any person being treated in a facility;

(3) "Head of the facility" means the superintendent or medical director of a facility, or his or her designated delegate;

(4) "Informed consent" means permission given competently and voluntarily after a patient has been informed of the reason for treatment, the nature of the proposed treatment, the advantages or disadvantages of the treatment, medically acceptable alternative treatment, the risks associated with receiving the proposed treatment and the risk of no treatment; and

(5) "Direct threat of harm" means the patient's clinical history demonstrates a pattern of serious physical injury or life-threatening injury to self or to others caused by a diagnosed mental illness or substance use disorder that is documented by objective medical evidence and other factual evidence. Such evidence of past pattern of dangerous behavior shall be manifested in the patient's medical history and there shall exist a high probability that the patient will inflict substantial harm on himself, herself or others.

(b) Prior to discharging a patient from a facility, if it is determined by the head of the facility and two qualified physicians that (1) (A) a patient who is to be discharged from the facility is capable of giving informed consent but refuses to consent to take medication for the treatment of the patient's mental illness or substance use disorder, or (B) a patient has a demonstrated history of failure to take medications prescribed for the treatment of his or her mental illness or substance use disorder, (2) there is no less intrusive beneficial treatment, and (3) without medication, the mental illness or substance use disorder with which the patient has been diagnosed will continue unabated and place the patient or others in direct threat of harm, the head of the facility may apply to the Probate Court for appointment of a conservator of the person with specific authority to consent to the administration of medication after discharge from the facility or, in a case where a conservator of the person has previously been appointed under section 45a-650 of the general statutes, the head of the facility or the conservator may petition the Probate Court to grant such specific authority to the conservator. Pursuant to this subsection, the Probate Court may appoint a conservator with such specific authority if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the patient refuses to consent to medication for the treatment of the patient's mental illness or substance use disorder or has a demonstrated history of failure to take medications prescribed for the treatment of his or her mental illness or substance use disorder and such medication is necessary for the patient's treatment. The authority of a conservator to consent to the administration of medication under this subsection shall be effective for not more than one hundred twenty days following the date of the patient's discharge from the facility.

(c) If, after being discharged from a facility, a patient fails or refuses to take medication ordered by a prescribing practitioner and such patient has a conservator of the person vested with the authority to consent to the administration of medication pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, such conservator may consent on behalf of the patient to the administration of such medication and the patient may be medicated over his or her objection. Such medication shall be administered in a manner and place that, in the best judgment of the prescribing practitioner, is clinically appropriate, safe and consistent with the dignity and privacy of the patient. A conservator of the person appointed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section may request that state or local police or a licensed or certified ambulance service assist in transporting the patient to a designated location for the purpose of administering the medication.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2016

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To provide a Probate Court with the authority to appoint a conservator of the person who may consent to the administration of medication on behalf of a conserved person who has a mental illness or substance use disorder.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]