Will there be serious consequences with the law if I leave the hospital without being discharged???

Will there be serious consequences with the law if I leave the hospital without being discharged???

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First off, I want to tell you that it is never a good idea to leave a hospital of any kind without being discharged… But that’s just my little disclaimer…

I did quite a bit of research on this subject… I know what the laws are in my area, but I wasn’t too sure if they were the same throughout the state, let alone the country… So I looked, and after visiting some different websites, e-mailing a few people, and calling some different hospitals, I got my answers-the laws are the same, as far as I can tell… So here are my findings…

There is a difference between leaving a psych hospital against medical advice (AMA) and just up and leaving without being discharged or letting anyone know… Leaving AMA means signing yourself out of the hospital before the psychiatrist or treating physician deems you fit to leave… Patients are only allowed to do this if they signed themselves in… They can do this by signing a form giving notice that they want to be discharged… There is a time frame (anywhere from a few hours to a few days) the doctor and the staff have to observe you and decide whether they feel you will be safe on the ‘outside…’ Some places will have a hearing complete with a mental health judge and a public defender… Both sides present their ‘case’… If the judge decides you will be ok, then they will discharge you… However, if the judge rules against you, then they will commit you without your consent (involuntary commitment…) Then you can’t leave, unless…

Most crisis psych hospitals are lock down units, meaning there is no way in or out unless you have a key… Of course, people always have their ways!!! Whether you signed yourself into the hospital, or you are there involuntarily, the same consequences will be enforced… That is, they will send law enforcement after you… The police will then take you back to the hospital where you will be committed if you were there voluntarily… If you were already committed, then you will be put under closer surveillance… Well, you’ll be under closer surveillance either way, but…

This information is just for short term, crisis hospitals (inpatient units that admit patients when they are an imminent threat to themselves or others…) There are many different kinds of psych units and hospitals… Some places allow the patients to come and go as they please, and some allow patients to go out on ‘passes…’ It all depends on the level of care you need… But from my understanding, if you are court appointed, or involuntarily committed, to be at this institution, then you will have the law enforcement sent after you if you are not where you’re supposed to be, when you’re supposed to be…

I really hoped this helped… I know there are a lot of grey area’s with this questions, so if you have any more questions, feel free to e-mail me at sammi @ askabipolar . com (remove spaces)

God bless!!!

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