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The Psychiatric Patient Protection Act is a federal law signed into law by President Spencer on August 17th 2011. The law is part of continued reform of the healthcare system within the Union of Everett, which is ongoing from the previous Heathcare Reorganization Act of 2009 and the following HIV/AIDS Reduction Act and Patient Protection & Healthcare Security Acts of 2010. The Psychiatric Patient Protection Act (PPPA) specifically targets the psychiatry and psychological care industry. PPPA protects mental healthcare patients from criminal activities, corruption, unlawful practices, abuses of patients, heavier regulations of prescription pharmaceuticals and protects the legal rights of parents, guardians and children in regards to mental health cases of minors.

Protections

Court Order & Warrant For Detainment

The PPPA requires psychologists, therapists, psychiatrists, mental health facilities, psychiatric centers and wards to retrieve a legal court order from a judge and a warrant for detainment, before having the legal authority to admit, against the will of a patient, into a care center or hospital for short term or long term institutionalization. Previously, the psychiatric industry was the only form of non-government facility outside of government regulated law enforcement that could legally detain and institutionalize (imprison) a person and was the only agency, government and non-government, with the authority to do so without court order or warrant. This led, especially during the early years of psychiatry, a massive increase in persons who became detained and institutionalized without legal authority and for undetermined periods of time for any reason seen fit by any specific private (non-government) psychological care doctor or therapist. This specific protection under the PPPA requires that any such psychological care center or doctor provide and submit to a court, a fully completed diagnosis and work up of mental health records with symptoms and documentation provided and a request for judicial authority to treat with medications or treatments specified for the legal authority to force upon a patient such treatment at a facility where the patient would be detained. Upon a court order and warrant is issued, the care facility or doctor would have the legal right to provide such order to police and an ambulance to pick up the patient specified, against their will and to bring them to a care facility. The law makes two exceptions in which if a person has displayed signs of suicidal or homicidal behavior and is an imminent threat to self or others, a facility may detain such a patient for up to 24 hours until the court order and warrant is issued.

Right To Legal Recourse

The PPPA additionally provides patients the legal right to an attorney and representative, who can represent and defend the patient in court, should the patient claim their detention is unwarranted, in the sense that it is unnecessary, unlawful or their detainment is based on bias, corruption, false allegations, false documentation or other claims of malpractice or unlawful actions taken by mental health doctors or care facilities. Patients have the right to contest their detention in court. Patients are also allowed the right to submit lawsuit against mental health facilities for abuses, neglect, harassment, discrimination, criminal behaviors, offenses and other unlawful activity. The Right of Legal Recourse is also allowed to minors, those 17 years of age and younger, to contest their detentions at a mental health facility, whether the suit is against their own parents or the parents are also claiming suit against the facilities, such as the taking away of a minor from a parent or guardian for psychiatric treatment against the will of said parent or guardian.

Justified Reasons For Detainment

Under the PPPA, a listing of valid reasons for institutionalizing a patient against their consent is stated. Reasons include suicidal behavior, homicidal behavior, deep psychosis (loss of touch with reality) including significant impairing delusion, unjustified paranoia (a fear of threat or danger without sensible reason), violent and or destructive behavior, pyromania, actions such as the killing, mutilation or torture of animals and total mental disability (such as retardation resulting in the inability to function or care for oneself).

The law though, most notably, specifies personal beliefs, lifestyles and expressions that are protected acts and are considered not legal reasons to detain and institutionalize a patient including homosexuality, gender identity disorders, belief in extraterrestrials, belief in the paranormal and supernatural, belief in religion, practice of religion, claims of being a psychic, claims of sighting unidentified flying objects or extraterrestrials, claims of alien abduction, claims of sighting spirits, ghosts or demonic entities, claims of being haunted, living in a haunted location or having experiences with the paranormal and claims of demonic possession. The most notable, the claims of a patient to having paranormal, supernatural or extraterrestrial encounters are protected under the Department of Paranormal's regulations and only those licensed as parapsychologists can perform psychiatric care, treatment and therapy for persons who claim such experiences. More specifically, while rare, the Department of the Paranormal and not the Department of Health, have the authority to handle cases of claimed demonic possession. Persons who are not demonically possessed and who are confirmed to be suffering from psychological disorder are then transferred back to the care of the Department of Health.

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