Peekskill, NY asked in Civil Litigation, Small Claims, Personal Injury and Health Care Law for New York

Q: What NY State laws govern an involuntary psychiatric hold (in ER) and the administration of medication without consent?

My 23 year old daughter sought care in ER for asthma attack. After flippantly saying she would "rather kill herself than be admitted overnight", she was immediately put on an involuntary hold without consideration of context and relevant mental health history. Within minutes she was administered Haldol without without cause or consent. She was at no time aggressive and made no attempt to remove her IV, get out of bed or leave hospital. While her words understandably required consideration, the swift rush to judgement without meaningful consideration of whether there was a substantial likelihood of harm to herself or others and the administration of a chemical restraint (which I understand should be a last resort safety measure to prevent imminent physical harm) was an outrageous overreach which was in no way in my daughter's best interest. I believe the ER Physicians acted unlawfully and caused my daughter incredible emotional distress and the physical harm.

1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: I'm sorry for your daughter's and your family's ordeal here. There is New York State Mental Health Hygiene Law section 9.27(a), which involves involuntary admission on medical certification. These are generally fact-intensive settings that require detailed investigation. You could reach out to law firms to discuss in greater detail; that could be the most meaningful first step in evaluating what happened here. I hope your daughter is okay. Good luck

Jonathan R. Ratchik agrees with this answer

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