CHAPTER 225

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO DELAWARE STATE HOSPITAL BY PROVIDING FOR THE DISCHARGE AND RELEASE OF PATIENTS AT DELAWARE STATE HOSPITAL, REHOSPITALIZATION, RETURN OF PATIENTS ESCAPED OR ON UNAUTHORIZED LEAVE.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Section 5130, Title 16, Delaware Code, is repealed.

Section 2. Title 16, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto the following:

§ 5132. Discharge of patients at Delaware State Hospital; release on convalescent status; notice of release review

(a) The Superintendent of the Delaware State Hospital shall as frequently as practicable, but not less often than every 6 months, examine or cause to be examined every hospitalized patient admitted under section 5125 of this Title, and whenever he determines that any patient is not a mentally ill person, as that term is defined in section 5125 of this Title, or whenever he determines that, otherwise, the care, treatment and supervision of the Hospital are no longer necessary, the patient shall be discharged. The Certificate of Discharge shall state the basis for the discharge.

(b) The Superintendent of the Delaware State Hospital may release an improved patient, who was admitted under section 5125 of this Title, on convalescent status when he believes that such release is in the best interests of the patient.

(c) Release on convalescent status shall include provisions for continuing responsibility to and by the Hospital, including a plan of treatment on an out-patient or non-hospital patient basis.

(d) Prior to the end of a year on convalescent status, and not less frequently than annually thereafter, the Superintendent shall examine the facts relating to the condition of the patient on convalescent status and whenever he determines that the patient is not a mentally ill person, as that term is defined in section 5125 of this Title, or whenever he determines that, otherwise, the care, treatment and supervision of the Hospital are no longer necessary, the patient shall be discharged. The Certificate of Discharge shall state the basis for the discharge.

§ 5133. Return of patients; order; notice; custody

(a) Prior to a discharge the Superintendent may at any time readmit a patient. If the Superintendent believes it is to the best interests of the patient to be rehospitalized he may issue a written order for the immediate rehospitalization of the patient.

(b) If a Hospital patient has escaped, or is on unauthorized leave from the Hospital, the Superintendent may issue an order for the immediate rehospitalization of the patient.

(c) The Superintendent may notify any escaped patient or any patient on unauthorized leave of the existence of a rehospitalization order by any means of communication open to him. Such an order, whether the patient has received notice of it or not, shall when delivered to any peace officer of the State authorize any such officer to take the patient into custody and transport him to the Hospital.

Approved December 21, 1965.