Monday, September 17, 2007

"Imminent Danger" in the Washington Post

Two opinion pieces in yesterday’s Washington Post addressed the “imminent danger” standard in Virginia.

An editorial from the Washington Post:

Virginia currently requires that authorities determine that an individual poses an "imminent danger" to self or others, or be unable to care for himself, before they can order involuntary detention. That high hurdle, once embraced by a majority of states, has kept many unstable and dangerous people from receiving the care they need.

An op-ed from Pete Earley describing his experience in getting treatment for his son who has a severe mental illness:

When I rushed my college-age son -- in the throes of a psychotic breakdown -- to a Fairfax hospital, I was told he wasn't "sick enough." He could not be treated involuntarily until he posed an "imminent danger" to himself or someone else, doctors said. His mental illness had been diagnosed two years earlier, he had been hospitalized twice and he had done well on medication. But still doctors couldn't legally intervene.

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