The Vermont Statutes Online
The statutes were updated in November, 2018, and contain all actions of the
2018 legislative session.
§ 7617. Findings; order
(a) If the court finds that the proposed patient was not a person in need of treatment at the time of admission or application or is not a patient in need of further treatment at the time of the hearing, the court shall enter a finding to that effect and shall dismiss the application.
(b) If the proposed patient is found to have been a person in need of treatment at the time of admission or application and a patient in need of further treatment at the time of the hearing, the court may order the person:
(1) hospitalized in a designated hospital;
(2) hospitalized in any other public or private hospital if he or she and the hospital agree; or
(3) to undergo a program of treatment other than hospitalization.
(c) Prior to ordering any course of treatment, the court shall determine whether there exists an available program of treatment for the person which is an appropriate alternative to hospitalization. The court shall not order hospitalization without a thorough consideration of available alternatives.
(d) Before making its decision, the court shall order testimony by an appropriate representative of a hospital, a community mental health agency, public or private entity or agency, or a suitable person, who shall assess the availability and appropriateness for the individual of treatment programs other than hospitalization.
(e) Prior to ordering the hospitalization of a person, the court shall inquire into the adequacy of treatment to be provided to the person by the hospital. Hospitalization shall not be ordered unless the hospital in which the person is to be hospitalized can provide him or her with treatment which is adequate and appropriate to his or her condition.
(f) Preference between available hospitals shall be given to the hospital which is located nearest to the person's residence, except when the person requests otherwise or there are other compelling reasons for not following the preference. (Added 1977, No. 252 (Adj. Sess.), § 24.)