For many persons with psychiatric disabilities, particularly in States that lack accessible mobile crisis services, hospital emergency departments unwillingly have become the primary care provider of mental health services. Eight years ago, the Center developed an Emergency Department initiative to establish new standards of care for persons with psychiatric disabilities who are transported to hospital emergency departments for mental health services. In has developed, published, and collaborated with regional hospitals in implementing these standards, as well as filed test case litigation to challenge the violation of these standards.
Documents and pleadings which may be helpful to attorneys litigating or considering the litigation of disability law related cases are available by following the links below.
Patient Advocacy Contact Information: How to access "patient advocates" in hospitals in the Boston area
A brochure on patients' rights in hospital emergency rooms, prepared by The Center for Public Representation:
The Center for Public Representation, the Bazelon Center and Campbell, Campbell, Edwards & Conroy have sued Beth-Isreal Hospital on behalf of a woman who was strip searched when she appeared at the hospital ER for treatment of a migraine. The plaintiff had been a patient in the mental health unit in the past:
Sampson v. BIDMC Complaint 8/4/2006Article: Lawsuit filed over forced strip search, August/September 2006 issue of nePsy.com
Massachusetts Emergency Service Providers: Providers have been chosen to provide emergency psychiatric services in the community to adults who are Medicaid or DMH clients. These services can be provided in a person's own home during the day, seven days a week, and are intended to be recovery-oriented and strength-based. For a list of Massachusetts ESP providers, click here.
The documents contained on this page and within this web site do not constitute legal advice. Anyone engaged in legal action should consult with an attorney. Attorneys should make their own independent judgments. Local laws vary and the law may have changed since these documents were written. Litigants should fully research any claims or defenses before making them.