Vt. gov's administration pushes back on treatment

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Weeks after a Vermont state legislative committee rejected a Shumlin administration request to make it easier to give involuntary treatments to mentally ill patients, the administration is asking for reconsideration.

Secretary of Human Services Doug Racine has written to the Legislature's Committee on Administrative Rules asking it to reconsider last month's 6-1 vote against a proposed Department of Mental Health rule change.

Under the change, advanced-practice registered nurses and physician assistants could order patients to be secluded, restrained or medicated against their will. Current rules require a doctor to meet with the patient before that happens.

The Department of Mental Health could implement the changes without lawmakers' approval, but that would make them more susceptible to a court challenge.

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