H. B. 2740
(By Delegate A. Evans,( By Request) and Sponaugle
[Introduced February 26, 2013; referred to the
Committee on Health and Human Resources then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §27-2-3 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to the restriction of the use of
"4-point mechanical restraints" on patients in mental health
facilities and the establishment of conditions which must
accompany usage; criminal penalties.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §27-2-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES.
§27-2-3. Rules as to patients.
(a) The Director of Health shall implement rules
regulations as promulgated by the Board of Health in regard to the
admission of patients to mental health facilities, the care,
maintenance and treatment of inpatients, residents and outpatients of such facilities and the release, trial visit and discharge of
(b) No patient under eighteen years of age in
any a state
hospital shall may be housed in any an area also occupied by any a
patient over eighteen years of age. Any A patient adjudged by the
chief medical officer to have a likelihood of seriously harming
others shall be confined in a secure area of a health facility.
(c) Notwithstanding any provision of this code or in the rules
promulgated pursuant to this section to the contrary, the method of
restraint known as the "4-point mechanical restraint", a method of
restraint in which a patient's arms and legs are strapped down to
a bed, may not be used to restrain patients except as follows:
_______________(1) Combined with a sedative injection administered
immediately after completing the restraint;
_______________(2) Removing the restraint or administering another injection
when the patient awakens; and
_______________(3) In circumstances requiring continued restraint, closely
monitoring the patient's maintenance dosage of sedatives and
adjusting when appropriate in order to avoid unnecessary stress or
discomfort to the patient.
_______________(d) As an alternative to utilizing the "4-point mechanical
restraint", the patient may be placed in a "safe seclusion room"
which must be equipped with padded walls, floors and bars.
_______________(e) A person who violates subsection (c) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be
fined not less than $500 nor more than $2,000, or confined in jail
not more than one year, or both fined and confined.
_______________NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to restrict the "4-point
mechanical restraint" in mental health facilities and establish
conditions which must accompany usage and to impose criminal
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would