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  • Acts
  • 2010
  • Chapter 278 AN ACT AUTHORIZING LICENSED INDEPENDENT CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKERS TO APPLY FOR THE EMERGENCY HOSPITALIZATION OF PERSONS WHO POSE A RISK OF HARM TO THEMSELVES OR OTHERS DUE TO MENTAL ILLNESS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

SECTION 1. Subsection (a) of section 12 of chapter 123 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the first 3 sentences and inserting in place thereof the following 3 sentences:- Any physician who is licensed pursuant to section 2 of chapter 112 or qualified psychiatric nurse mental health clinical specialist authorized to practice as such under regulations promulgated pursuant to the provisions of section 80B of said chapter 112 or a qualified psychologist licensed pursuant to sections 118 to 129, inclusive, of said chapter 112, or a licensed independent clinical social worker licensed pursuant to sections 130 to 137, inclusive, of chapter 112 who, after examining a person, has reason to believe that failure to hospitalize such person would create a likelihood of serious harm by reason of mental illness may restrain or authorize the restraint of such person and apply for the hospitalization of such person for a 3-day period at a public facility or at a private facility authorized for such purposes by the department. If an examination is not possible because of the emergency nature of the case and because of the refusal of the person to consent to such examination, the physician, qualified psychologist, qualified psychiatric nurse mental health clinical specialist or licensed independent clinical social worker on the basis of the facts and circumstances may determine that hospitalization is necessary and may apply therefore. In an emergency situation, if a physician, qualified psychologist, qualified psychiatric nurse mental health clinical specialist or licensed independent clinical social worker is not available, a police officer, who believes that failure to hospitalize a person would create a likelihood of serious harm by reason of mental illness may restrain such person and apply for the hospitalization of such person for a 3-day period at a public facility or a private facility authorized for such purpose by the department.

SECTION 2. Said chapter 123 is hereby further amended by striking out section 22, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 22. Physicians, qualified psychologists, qualified psychiatric nurse mental health clinical specialists, police officers and licensed independent clinical social workers shall be immune from civil suits for damages for restraining, transporting, applying for the admission of or admitting any person to a facility or the Bridgewater state hospital if the physician, qualified psychologist, qualified psychiatric nurse mental health clinical specialist, police officer or licensed independent clinical social workers acts pursuant to this chapter.

Approved, August 9, 2010.