TITLE 40.1
Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals

CHAPTER 40.1-5.3
Incompetency to Stand Trial and Persons Adjudged Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

SECTION 40.1-5.3-13


§ 40.1-5.3-13 General rights.

(a) Every person committed for care and treatment under the provisions of this chapter shall retain certain constitutional and civil rights. The exercise of these rights may be limited only for good cause, and any limitation must be promptly entered into the person's record. These rights include, but are not limited, to the following:

(1) To be visited privately by a personal physician, attorney, clergyperson, or the mental health advocate, and by other persons at all reasonable times;

(2) To be provided with stationery, writing materials, and postage in reasonable amounts and to have free unrestricted, unopened, and uncensored use of the mail;

(3) To wear one's own clothes, keep and use personal possessions, have access to individual storage space for private use, and reasonable access to the telephone to make and receive confidential calls;

(4) To seek independent examinations and opinions from a psychiatrist or mental health professional of his or her choice;

(5) To receive and read literature;

(6) To have access to the mental health advocate upon request;

(7) Not to participate in experimentation in the absence of the person's informed, written consent, or if incompetent, upon an order of substituted judgment;

(8) To freedom from restraint or seclusion, except during an emergency;

(9) To exercise the rights described in this section without reprisal, including reprisal in the form of denial of any appropriate and available treatment or any right or privilege;

(10) To have an opportunity for exercise at least one hour each day.

(b) For the purposes of this section, "emergency" is defined as an imminent threat of serious bodily harm to the patient or to others. A request for informed consent includes a reasonable explanation of the procedure to be followed, the benefits to be expected, the relative advantages of alternative treatments, the potential discomforts and risks, and the right and opportunity to revoke the consent.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1987, ch. 281, § 1.)