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 Respond to  your  colleagues by recommending at least one additional way you would treat a  child or adolescent client differently than you would an adult and at  least one additional way you would address the legal and ethical issues  involved. 

NOTE: Positive Comment

                                                     Main Discussion

 

This  discussion requires one to discuss the case of an adult client that had  a psychiatric emergency and discuss the different approaches that would  be taken if the client was a child or an adolescent. Indeed, this is a  common in the behavioral and psychiatric health facilities or settings.  What clinicians working in this setting may fail to consider is the fact  that different approaches should be used when interacting with an adult  and when interacting with a child or an adolescent and this is  regardless of whether the case is a psychiatric emergency or not.  However, in this discussion, attention to context shall be on a  psychiatric emergency.

 Psychiatric  emergencies may be manifested in different ways and others may require  that the patient should be involuntarily admitted to a mental health  facility because of the potential of causing harm to self or others.  When such decisions have to be made, it is always important to note that  the freedom of the client may be disregarded and this presents serious  ethical and legal issues that should not be ignored (Marty et al.,  2019). An adult male was presented to the behavioral health facility  with bruises on his neck. His wife narrated that she got into the house  at the right time and found him on the living room. He had purchased a  rope with the view of committing suicide. This was a patient with a  history of major depressive disorder that was recurrent.  Suicidal  attempt is a major psychiatric emergency (Sudarsanan et al., 2004).  Because of this psychiatric emergency, it was decided that he had to  undergo involuntary admission for purposes of mental health  stabilization. All states including the District of Columbia have laws  regarding emergency hold due to psychiatric emergencies. The only  differences pertain to the length of the hold, the extent of judicial  oversight, persons that can initiate the making of these decisions and  the rights of the person that has been put on emergency hold. For  instance, 2 states require some aspects of judicial review before the  decision is made. 9 require a judge to certify the decision and 5 states  have no guarantee regarding the assessment by a qualified mental health  professional at the time of the hold (Hedman et al., 2016). These are  laws that guide the involuntary admission of adults due to psychiatric  emergencies.

 If  this a case of a child or adolescent, state laws still apply, and such  laws should be adhered to at all times. In many states, minors are  considered to be incompetent when it comes to making decisions about  their health. In this case, due to a psychiatric emergency cause by a  suicide attempt, a parent can initiate the decisions and give consent to  the hospitalization of the child even if the child protests. When this  happens, the child may also not be discharged from the hold until the  parent or the guardian authorizes the release. In some states, younger  minors up to the age of 14 may not have a say. In other states, older  minors may be heard if their protest. A counsel may be required to make  sure that the due process is followed (Menninger, 2001). In this case,  the parents would be consulted and advised accordingly. If they consent  to the involuntary hold due to a suicide attempt, it would be  implemented immediately.The  rights of a child have to be protected at all times and there is need  to make sure that the surrogate decision makers of the child are  involved in the decisions that shall affect the rights of the child  especially if the freedom of the child is going to be affected through  an involuntary psychiatric hold.

References

Hedman,  L. C., Petrila, J., Fisher, W. H., Swanson, J. W., Dingman, D. A.,  & Burris, S. (2016). State laws on emergency holds for mental health  stabilization. Psychiatric Services67(5), 529-535

Marty,  S., Jaeger, M., Moetteli, S., Theodoridou, A., Seifritz, E., &  Hotzy, F. (2019). Characteristics of psychiatric emergency situations  and the decision-making process leading to involuntary admission. Frontiers in psychiatry9, 760.

Menninger, J. A. (2001). Involuntary treatment: Hospitalization and medications. Jacobson, James L. y Jacobson, Alan M.; Psychiatric Secrets, second edition. Philadelphia, PA: Hanley & Belfus, Inc, 477-484.

Sudarsanan, S., Chaudhury, S., Pawar, A. A., Salujha, S. K., & Srivastava, K. (2004). Psychiatric emergencies. Medical Journal, Armed Forces India60(1), 59

 
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