A friend of mine, female 55 yrs old, was taken in hand cuffs to Mount Sinai emergency and is currently hand cuffed to a

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Customer: Hi, a friend of mine, female 55 yrs old, was taken in hand cuffs to Mount Sinai emergency and is currently hand cuffed to a bed...she called her cousin and said "she wanted to die" We don't understand why or if it's right that they ha e
JA: What state are your friend and her cousin in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Oh shoot we're in Canada
JA: What steps has she taken so far?
Customer: None, she's not sober and stuck handcuffed to the bed in a hospital emergency ward
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Can they help in Canada?
Answered by Debra in 1 hour 2 years ago
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Debra, Expert

Hello! My name is Debra (formerly known as Legal Ease). Thank you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.


Debra, Expert

I am sorry to hear of this difficult situation.

I am a lawyer in Toronto.

Please let me know what specific legal information you need.


Hi, I just left her at emergency mound Sinai, can't stay because of covid-19
She's no longer handcuffed and that was what we wanted to was the legality of them handcuffing her and taking her to emergency and keeping her handcuffed to the bed
She called a cousin (former RCMP) telling her she wanted to die, I believe she was drunk and the cousin called the police

Debra, Expert

They would not take her to the hospital because she was drunk.

She was taken to the hospital because they believed she was a danger to herself.

And if when she was there the doctor believed this was the case she would be involuntarily admitted.

Here is the law:

If a doctor believes that person is a danger to him/herself or others the doctor can put this person on what is called a Form 1. This means the person needs to stay in the hospital for 72 hours for a psychiatric assessment.

Then, within the 72 hours a different doctor needs to make a different psychiatric assessment and then decide if the person could leave, could stay voluntarily or must stay involuntarily.

If the decision is for involuntary admission the person is placed on what is called a Form 3 and the admission can last for up to two weeks.

After the 2 weeks are up the doctor can renew the admission and then it's for 4 weeks. (Form 4) and then this can continue to be renewed.

At each stage the patient has a right to challenge the decisions and they can go before what is called the Consent and Capacity board and have legal representation if they wish.

With respect to treatment, the doctor can put a patient on a Form 1 if they feel the person is incapable of making a decision about treatment or if treatment for this same disorder had helped in the past.

If the doctor wishes to treat the patient, the patient, just as with any patient, has to be told the details and the risks and the side effects etc as informed consent is still required.

However, if the doctor believes that the patient is incapable of giving informed consent the doctor will make a finding called a "incapable to consent to treatment" designation. Again there is a right to challenge this designation.

Once there is the designation and if there is no Power of Attorney for Personal Care, the doctor needs to find someone to make the decision about the treatment.

This is the order that doctor must go in to find the person:
the guardian (if there is one), the spouse or partner, the child (16 or older), the parent(s), the siblings, other family members, and the Public Guardian and Trustee. The first willing and able person will become your "substitute decision maker".

The doctor can also ask the patient (if capable) or the substitute decision maker to be on what is called a Community Treatment Order (CTO). That gives the patient the chance to leave the hospital so long as the patient remains on the treatment plan.

Does that help as a starting point?

Please feel free to post back with any follow-up questions you may have. If you don't have any then I hope I have earned a 5 star rating but if you don't feel that I have please don't hesitate to reply back and let me know what more I can do to assist you. Finally, please know that even after you rate me I will be here for you and you can ask follow-up questions if you think of them later on at no further charge of course.

hi Debra I read your response, I hadn't responded because I was busy taking care of my friend. to my surprise they let her leave the hospital which was sadly probably the wrong decision. she is doing better today and we have found help for her but she was very traumatized by the handcuffs experience. thank you for your information!
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