My wife recently attempted suicide by taking prescription medication. This is in Colorado. I took her to the emergency room, and of course they did an M1 hold on her. Luckily she is doing better and feeling fine now. She was held for the full 72 hours. I'm not disputing the validity of the hold, however, there were several issues that came up that I'm currently investigating. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
There are 6 specific issues:
1. The holding facility did not even consider the possibility of releasing her prior to the 72 hours. In Colorado, the hold is not mandatory. The person can be released if they no longer require treatment or evaluation. She was feeling better and non-suicidal after the 1st 24 hours.
2. The constitutionality of Colorado law related to emergency holds, in that the criteria for release is too vague. Once you get in, it is not clear how to get out. What does "no longer require treatment and evaluation" mean, etc.?
3. I contacted an attorney on behalf of my wife, and they retaliated against her in an emotionally abusive way and gave her false information about what she needed to do to get out (she had to go to group, share in group, write in her journal, and "do the work")
4. I believe in Colorado the patient bears the responsibility of the cost of treatment. Is that fair / consitutional when the hold is involuntary? The state shouldn't have a profit motive for holding people longer than necessary, which may have happened in this case.
5. Concerns about the cost of transportation. They transported by ambulance (read: expensive) to a facility approximately 60 miles away because there were no beds available at any closer facilities. Should the patient bear the cost of transportation in that case?
6. Concerns about the constitutionality of the facility holding past 72 hours via a short term certification process. An M1 hold initiation requires "imminent danger" but a short term certification only requires "danger". Also, the holding facility is allowed to do the short term certification evaluation. This is problematic because they are not a neutral party.
I've been reading the Colorado law pretty carefully. It used to be C.R.S. 27-10-105 and 27-10-107, but the statute numbers changed in 2010. I haven't researched case law or precedents yet. I'm not a lawyer and don't have access to a law library so it's hard for me to do that. I'm sure I'm not the first person to run into some of these issues, so any help would be appreciated.