MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — An advisory committee to Vermont's mental health system is reviewing state laws and rules governing the use of psychiatric medications against patients' wishes.
Mental health officials recently presented proposed rules on emergency involuntary treatment to a legislative oversight committee and decided to go back and redraft them after hearing some criticism.
One issue is whether emergency medications can be administered without a doctor having met personally with a patient beforehand.
Hospital officials say they need to flexibility to ensure the safety of other patients and staff when a doctor is not on duty and a patient is acting out.
Some patient advocates say they fear the rules are what one called "the camel's nose under the tent," and could lead to weakening patient protections more broadly.