AB 3242 – California

Status: Enacted
Year Introduced: 2020
Link: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB3242

Mental health: involuntary commitment.
Existing law, the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, authorizes the involuntary commitment and treatment of persons with specified mental health disorders for the protection of the persons so committed. Under the act, if a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is a danger to others, or to themselves, or is gravely disabled, the person may, upon probable cause, be taken into custody for a period of up to 72 hours for assessment, evaluation, and crisis intervention, or placement for evaluation and treatment. Existing law requires persons providing the evaluation services to be properly qualified professionals, and authorizes those professionals to provide telehealth evaluation services. Existing law requires, prior to admitting a person for evaluation and treatment for a period of 72 hours, the professional person in charge of the facility or a designee to assess the individual in person to determine the appropriateness of the involuntary detention.
Existing law also provides immunity from civil and criminal liability for similar detention by specified licensed general acute care hospitals, licensed acute psychiatric hospitals, licensed professional staff at those hospitals, or any physician and surgeon providing emergency medical services in any department of those hospitals if various conditions are met, including that the detained person cannot be safely released from the hospital because, in the opinion of treating staff, the person, as a result of a mental health disorder, presents a danger to themselves, or others, or is gravely disabled.
This bill would authorize an examination, assessment, or evaluation specified, required, or authorized by the above-mentioned provisions to be conducted using telehealth.

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