Can the police legally keep a “suicidal” patient from leaving an ER?

Asked on January 8, 2013 under Personal Injury, Virginia

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It depends. The hospital may be able to keep a person without their permission for up to 72 hours in most instances. After that, it will depend a lot on the issue of the crime (arrest) or if the person has been somehow declared incompetent. A person being in danger of himself may be held based on some court motions but the police themselves could not do so without court order.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, under the laws of all states in this country law enforcement as well as medical personnel can physically restrain an invidual and keep him or her from leaving a medical facility if there is a reasonable belief that the particular individual is suicidal.


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