2020 Florida Statutes
394.4625 Voluntary admissions.—
(1) AUTHORITY TO RECEIVE PATIENTS.—
(a) A facility may receive for observation, diagnosis, or treatment any person 18 years of age or older making application by express and informed consent for admission or any person age 17 or under for whom such application is made by his or her guardian. If found to show evidence of mental illness, to be competent to provide express and informed consent, and to be suitable for treatment, such person 18 years of age or older may be admitted to the facility. A person age 17 or under may be admitted only after a hearing to verify the voluntariness of the consent.
(b) A mental health overlay program or a mobile crisis response service or a licensed professional who is authorized to initiate an involuntary examination pursuant to s. 394.463 and is employed by a community mental health center or clinic must, pursuant to district procedure approved by the respective district administrator, conduct an initial assessment of the ability of the following persons to give express and informed consent to treatment before such persons may be admitted voluntarily:
1. A person 60 years of age or older for whom transfer is being sought from a nursing home, assisted living facility, adult day care center, or adult family-care home, when such person has been diagnosed as suffering from dementia.
2. A person 60 years of age or older for whom transfer is being sought from a nursing home pursuant to s. 400.0255(12).
3. A person for whom all decisions concerning medical treatment are currently being lawfully made by the health care surrogate or proxy designated under chapter 765.
(c) When an initial assessment of the ability of a person to give express and informed consent to treatment is required under this section, and a mobile crisis response service does not respond to the request for an assessment within 2 hours after the request is made or informs the requesting facility that it will not be able to respond within 2 hours after the request is made, the requesting facility may arrange for assessment by any licensed professional authorized to initiate an involuntary examination pursuant to s. 394.463 who is not employed by or under contract with, and does not have a financial interest in, either the facility initiating the transfer or the receiving facility to which the transfer may be made.
(d) A facility may not admit as a voluntary patient a person who has been adjudicated incapacitated, unless the condition of incapacity has been judicially removed. If a facility admits as a voluntary patient a person who is later determined to have been adjudicated incapacitated, and the condition of incapacity had not been removed by the time of the admission, the facility must either discharge the patient or transfer the patient to involuntary status.
(e) The health care surrogate or proxy of a voluntary patient may not consent to the provision of mental health treatment for the patient. A voluntary patient who is unwilling or unable to provide express and informed consent to mental health treatment must either be discharged or transferred to involuntary status.
(f) Within 24 hours after admission of a voluntary patient, the admitting physician shall document in the patient’s clinical record that the patient is able to give express and informed consent for admission. If the patient is not able to give express and informed consent for admission, the facility shall either discharge the patient or transfer the patient to involuntary status pursuant to subsection (5).
(2) DISCHARGE OF VOLUNTARY PATIENTS.—
(a) A facility shall discharge a voluntary patient:
1. Who has sufficiently improved so that retention in the facility is no longer desirable. A patient may also be discharged to the care of a community facility.
2. Who revokes consent to admission or requests discharge. A voluntary patient or a relative, friend, or attorney of the patient may request discharge either orally or in writing at any time following admission to the facility. The patient must be discharged within 24 hours of the request, unless the request is rescinded or the patient is transferred to involuntary status pursuant to this section. The 24-hour time period may be extended by a treatment facility when necessary for adequate discharge planning, but shall not exceed 3 days exclusive of weekends and holidays. If the patient, or another on the patient’s behalf, makes an oral request for discharge to a staff member, such request shall be immediately entered in the patient’s clinical record. If the request for discharge is made by a person other than the patient, the discharge may be conditioned upon the express and informed consent of the patient.
(b) A voluntary patient who has been admitted to a facility and who refuses to consent to or revokes consent to treatment shall be discharged within 24 hours after such refusal or revocation, unless transferred to involuntary status pursuant to this section or unless the refusal or revocation is freely and voluntarily rescinded by the patient.
(3) NOTICE OF RIGHT TO DISCHARGE.—At the time of admission and at least every 6 months thereafter, a voluntary patient shall be notified in writing of his or her right to apply for a discharge.
(4) TRANSFER TO VOLUNTARY STATUS.—An involuntary patient who applies to be transferred to voluntary status shall be transferred to voluntary status immediately, unless the patient has been charged with a crime, or has been involuntarily placed for treatment by a court pursuant to s. 394.467 and continues to meet the criteria for involuntary placement. When transfer to voluntary status occurs, notice shall be given as provided in s. 394.4599.
(5) TRANSFER TO INVOLUNTARY STATUS.—When a voluntary patient, or an authorized person on the patient’s behalf, makes a request for discharge, the request for discharge, unless freely and voluntarily rescinded, must be communicated to a physician, clinical psychologist, or psychiatrist as quickly as possible, but not later than 12 hours after the request is made. If the patient meets the criteria for involuntary placement, the administrator of the facility must file with the court a petition for involuntary placement, within 2 court working days after the request for discharge is made. If the petition is not filed within 2 court working days, the patient shall be discharged. Pending the filing of the petition, the patient may be held and emergency treatment rendered in the least restrictive manner, upon the written order of a physician, if it is determined that such treatment is necessary for the safety of the patient or others.
History.—s. 8, ch. 71-131; s. 7, ch. 73-133; s. 109, ch. 73-333; s. 8, ch. 79-298; s. 11, ch. 82-212; s. 709, ch. 95-148; s. 17, ch. 96-169; s. 22, ch. 99-394.
Note.—Former s. 394.465.