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Assignment: Legal and Ethical Issues Related to Psychiatric Emergencies

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Assignment: Legal and Ethical Issues Related to Psychiatric Emergencies

To Prepare

• Review this week’s Learning Resources and consider the insights they provide about psychiatric emergencies and the ethical and legal issues surrounding these events.

The Assignment

In 3 pages, address the following:

• Explain Georgia state laws for involuntary psychiatric holds for child and adult psychiatric emergencies. Include who can hold a patient and for how long, who can release the emergency hold, and who can pick up the patient after a hold is released.

• Explain the differences among emergency hospitalization for evaluation/psychiatric hold, inpatient commitment, and outpatient commitment in your state.

• Explain the difference between capacity and competency in mental health contexts.

• Select one of the following topics and explain one legal issue and one ethical issue related to this topic that may apply within the context of treating psychiatric emergencies: patient autonomy, EMTALA, confidentiality, HIPAA privacy rule, HIPAA security rule, protected information, legal gun ownership, career obstacles (security clearances/background checks), and payer source.

• Identify one evidence-based suicide risk assessment that you could use to screen patients.

• Identify one evidence-based violence risk assessment that you could use to screen patients.


1. Buppert, C. (2021). Nurse practitioner’s business practice and legal guide (7th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

• Chapter 7, “Negligence and Malpractice”

• Chapter 8, “Risk Management”

• Chapter 16, “Resolving Ethical Dilemmas”


2. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2019). Brøset violence checklist.


3. Sadock, B. J., Sadock, V. A., & Ruiz, P. (2015). Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry (11th ed.). Wolters Kluwer. (For review as needed)

• Chapter 23, “Emergency Psychiatric Medicine”

• Chapter 36.2, “Ethics in Psychiatry”

4. Thapar, A., Pine, D. S., Leckman, J. F., Scott, S., Snowling, M. J., & Taylor, E. A. (Eds.). (2015). Rutter’s child and adolescent psychiatry (6th ed.). Wiley Blackwell.

• Chapter 19, “Legal Issues in the Care and Treatment of Children with Mental Health Problems”

• Chapter 64, “Suicidal Behavior and Self-Harm”


5. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2019). VA/DoD clinical practice guidelines: Assessment and management of patients at risk for suicide (2019).


6. Zakhari, R. (2021). The psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner certification review manual. Springer Publishing Company.

• Chapter 15, “Violence and Abuse”



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