When can an ordered medication administration result in liability?

April Raymond called 911 and asked for a well-being check on her two children, who were with her ex-husband, Cameron.

She told 911 operators that Cameron was telling her about “the end of the world,” that she would never hear her children’s voices again and sent her “bizarre texts about blood and cutting.”

Cameron’s parents had shared their concerns with April about his strange behavior in the past.

Two police officers went to the home where the ex-husband and children were. Cameron was cooperative. Even so, they decided to take Cameron to the nearby hospital’s ED for an involuntary psychological evaluation. He was placed in handcuffs.

En route to the hospital, Cameron made comments such as, “Me and my two sons are kings of the Book of Mormon” and made reference to a “magic sword.” Upon arrival at the ED, Cameron signed a Terms and Conditions of Service Form, which included a section on Consent to Treatment.

He was then taken to a room and placed on a bed. The triage nurse found him to be “alert, cooperative, calm and oriented to person, time, place and situation.”

An ED physician then saw Cameron. The physician asked about his alleged bizarre behavior and comments. Cameron denied them and refused to speak to the physician any further.

A psychiatric social worker then interviewed Cameron. She found his thought processes to be linear and goal directed with “strongly paranoid and moderately grandiose content.” She also noted he had strong delusions about his family.

In short, her opinion was that he was experiencing symptoms of a psychotic disorder of unknown origin with paranoid features.

Social worker arranges for admission

The social worker completed the required paperwork for Cameron to be transported and admitted to a psychiatric facility. In addition, a state judge was contacted — pursuant to state law — who ordered Cameron “be held for emergency examination and treatment” because of his mental illness, his imminent and substantial danger to others and his need for care and/or treatment.

Upon his arrival at the psychiatric facility, a psychiatrist ordered an injection of Haldol (to treat the psychosis) and Geodon (to sedate him).

Nurse John entered Cameron’s room and told him he was going to administer medication. Cameron told the nurse he did not want the medication administration and that he had a magic sword and would use it against the nurse if he tried to administer the medication.

The nurse consulted with the physician who ordered the medications and said it was essential the patient receive the medication administration because of his condition.

The nurse returned to the room and told Cameron he had no choice but to complete the medication administration, that it was for his condition and that a judge had ordered the same.

Cameron nodded and did not resist receiving the injection.

Cameron was then taken to another psychiatric facility where a psychiatrist examined him and discharged him because he was not a danger to himself or others.

The psychiatrist did prescribe additional medications, and Cameron was told to return to the facility for out-patient …read more

Read full article here: nurse.com