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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 18 : Health

Chapter 179 : Admission Procedures

(Cite as: 18 V.S.A. § 7508)
  • § 7508. Emergency examination and second certification

    (a) When an initial certification is issued for an emergency examination of a person in accordance with section 7504 or subsection 7505(e) of this title, he or she shall be examined and certified by a psychiatrist as soon as practicable, but not later than 24 hours after initial certification.

    (b) If the person is held for admission on an application and physician’s certificate, the examining psychiatrist shall not be the same physician who signed the certificate.

    (c) If the psychiatrist does not issue a second certification stating that the person is a person in need of treatment, he or she shall immediately discharge or release the person and cause him or her to be returned to the place from which he or she was taken or to such place as the person reasonably directs.

    (d) If the psychiatrist does issue a second certification that the person is a person in need of treatment, the person may continue to be held for an additional 72 hours, at which time the person shall be discharged or released, unless within that period:

    (1) the person has accepted voluntary admission under section 7503 of this title; or

    (2) an application for involuntary treatment is filed with the appropriate court under section 7612 of this title, in which case the patient shall continue to be held pending the court’s finding of probable cause on the application.

    (e)(1)(A) A person shall be deemed to be in the temporary custody of the Commissioner when the first of the following occurs:

    (i) a physician files an initial certification for the person while the person is in a hospital; or

    (ii) a person is certified by a psychiatrist to be a person in need of treatment during an emergency examination.

    (B) Temporary custody under this subsection shall continue until the court issues an order pursuant to subsection 7617(b) of this title or the person is discharged or released.

    (2) The Commissioner shall make every effort to ensure that a person held for an emergency examination pending a hospital admission is receiving temporary care and treatment that:

    (A) uses the least restrictive manner necessary to protect the safety of both the person and the public;

    (B) respects the privacy of the person and other patients; and

    (C) prevents physical and psychological trauma.

    (3) All persons admitted or held for admission shall receive a notice of rights as provided for in section 7701 of this title, which shall include contact information for Vermont Legal Aid, the Office of the Mental Health Care Ombudsman, and the mental health patient representative. The Department of Mental Health shall develop and regularly update informational material on available peer-run support services, which shall be provided to all persons admitted or held for admission.

    (4) A person held for an emergency examination may be admitted to an appropriate hospital at any time. (Added 1977, No. 252 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; amended 2013, No. 192 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. Nov. 1, 2014.)