CHAPTER 227

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 5123, TITLE 16, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO VOLUNTARY HOSPITALIZATION OF PATIENTS AT DELAWARE STATE HOSPITAL, AUTHORITY TO RECEIVE, PROCEDURE, AND DISCHARGE.

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

Section 1. Section 5123, Title 16, Delaware Code, is repealed and a new Section 5123 enacted in lieu thereof to read:

§ 5123. Voluntary hospitalization of patients at Delaware State Hospital; authority to receive; procedure; discharge

(a) The Superintendent of the Delaware State Hospital may admit for observation, diagnosis, care and treatment any individual who is mentally ill or has symptoms of mental illness and who, being 16 years of age or over, applies therefor, subject to the payment of charges for care, maintenance and support as provided in section 5127 of this Title.

() If the applicant is under the care and treatment of a medical doctor licensed to practice medicine or surgery in the State of Delaware, the application shall be accompanied by a letter from the doctor recommending voluntary hospitalization, and setting forth a description of the behavior and symptoms of the patient which led him to his decision to recommend voluntary hospitalization. If the applicant is not under the care and treatment of such a medical doctor, he shall not be admitted unless the Superintendent first determines that the applicant has sufficient insight and capacity to make responsible application for voluntary hospitalization.

(a) If any applicant is under the age of 21 years, the application shall also be signed by either of his parents or his legal guardian.

(b) The Superintendent shall discharge any voluntary patient who has recovered or whose hospitalization he determines to be no longer advisable.

(e) A voluntary patient who requests his discharge or whose discharge is requested, in writing, by his legal guardian, parent, spouse, or adult next of kin shall be discharged within 5 days from the receipt of the request, except that (1) if the request for discharge is made by a person other than the patient, discharge may be conditioned upon the agreement thereto of the patient, and (2) if the patient is under the age of 21 years his discharge may be conditioned upon the consent of his parent or guardian.

(f) Nothing contained in subsection (e) hereof shall require the discharge of a voluntary patient if within the 5 day period from receipt of the request for discharge he is admitted or committed to the said Hospital under some other provision of law.

Approved December 21, 1965.