Florida’s Mental Health Statute Covers Involuntary Hospitalization
BY: STAFF REPORT
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BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — President Trump’s actions Wednesday during the Capitol insurrection are leading many to ask whether he is well. In Florida, those suffering from severe mental issues are subject to the Baker Act — a temporary involuntary hospitalization.
It’s not a stretch. Florida Statute 394.455, as reported in Florida Department of Children and Families Baker Act Handbook, lists the following as the definition of mental illness:
“Mental illness means an impairment of the mental or emotional processes that exercise conscious control of one’s actions or of the ability to perceive or understand reality, which impairment substantially interferes with a person’s ability to meet the ordinary demands of living, regardless of etiology. For the purposes of this part, the term does not include a developmental disability as defined in Chapter 393, intoxication, or conditions manifested only by antisocial behavior or substance abuse impairment.”
While President Trump may be encouraged to seek mental health help on his own, the statute also has a section for people are unable to understand how mentally ill they may be.
“Incompetent to consent to treatment means that a person’s judgment is so affected by his or her mental illness that the person lacks the capacity to make a well-reasoned, willful, and knowing decision concerning his or her medical or mental health treatment.”
President Trump has indicated that he intends to move — permanently — to Mar-A-Lago, or a property near it, after he leaves office on January 20th. That puts him in the purview of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
The nearest mental health facility for Baker Act patients near Mar-A-Lago is JFK Medical Center North.
We are providing the most current version of the Florida Baker Act Guide, created by the University of South Florida and the Florida Department of Children And Families, below. If you are reading in a news app, just click here for full access. The guide, created in 2014, is apparently the most up-to-date.BakerActManual
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