Senate Bill No. 344
(By Senators Kessler and Minard)
[Introduced February 24, 2009; referred to the Committee on
Health and Human Resources; and then to the Committee on the
A BILL to amend and reenact §27-7-4 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to authorizing mental hygiene
commissioners to sign readmission orders.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §27-7-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 7. RELEASE, DISCHARGE AND READMISSION OF PATIENTS;
§27-7-4. Readmission of patients.
While any involuntary patient is out of the mental health
facility under the provisions of section two or three of this
article, he or she
may be readmitted to the mental health facility
on the basis of the original commitment. If there is reason to
believe that it is in the best interest of the patient to be hospitalized, the chief medical officer of the mental health
facility may issue a sworn notice for the immediate
of the patient, which notice shall
contain facts concerning the original commitment and the current
condition of the patient. This notice shall be sent
to the circuit
court or mental hygiene commissioner or
to the clerk of the circuit
court which ordered his or her
as the case may be, and
to the clerk of the circuit court of the county of the patient's
residence and to the circuit court or mental hygiene commissioner
of the county in which the patient may be found.
Upon receipt of
such notice, the circuit court or mental hygiene commissioner
if satisfied that the condition of the patient warrants his or her
return, authorize any health officer or police officer to take the
patient into custody and transport him or her
health facility where the notice originated.
(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize mental
hygiene commissioners to sign readmission orders.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would