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Need help finding resources fast

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Brief backstory:

My brother's long time girl friend has spina bifida, and because of ongoing pain issues stopped being able to sleep, which caused her to become slightly psychotic.  My brother took her to the hospital hoping that they would be able to sedate her so that she could sleep.  Instead they kept her up checking her vitals, etc, and ignored most of her medical needs, which resulted in her becoming increasingly more psychotic (having hallucinations, becoming paranoid).  They sent her out for a psych eval, which she obviously failed, and never transferred her medical records, and therefore didn't catherterize her or give her proper meds.  She developed a UTI, which spread to her kidneys since they aren't taking her seriously because she's psychotic.  They sent her out to have the UTI treated, then transferred her back.  My brother is trying to make sure that she is getting all of her proper meds, but they won't talk to him because of HIPPA.  They are treating her horribly, yelling at her and accusing her of being manipulative/forgetful.  At one point, her father was visiting and she thought that he didn't really need his crutches, so she tried to take it...one of the staff forcibly tackled her and put her in a headlock.  This girl is like 90 pounds soaking wet and has spina bifida - he could have paralyzed her! My brother then forcibly removed the (male) staff member, at which point they threatened to have my brother arrested.

The hospital's plan of action is to give her electric shock therapy...after not properly caring for her because she hasn't "responded" the way that they would like her to.

We are in MA and she doesn't have a health care proxy.  What can they do? Can't they sign her out, even if it's AMA to get another opinion?? Help please. 

post #2 of 5

Wow! Is she on a psych hold? If she is not, then yes, they can take her out AMA. She can also refuse treatment. Even if she is in on a psych hold, she has rights, you need to talk to a patient advocate asap.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply! No, she is not on a psych hold, and they have been able to opt out of the EST.  (my brother said that they just got funding for the treatment and are working on research, and she fits the criteria, which is part of the reason why there is so much pressure to do the shock therapy on her).  They (my brother and her parents) are looking into moving her, but they are scared, since the doc threatened to get the courts involved if they signed her out AMA.  What a nightmare :/

post #4 of 5

They definitely need to talk to a patient advocate, it may have a slightly different name but each hospital has someone who handles those issues. They should then move her or sign her out if the care doesn't improve. A doctor would have to get a psych hold order, which is done by police and courts, they can't just do it themselves, to keep her. If she is truly a danger to herself or others, it could be granted. What an awful situation. 

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

It really is, I feel so bad, and my brother feels so helpless.  I will tell them for sure about the patient advocate. Thanks so much for your help!

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