Admission of incapacitated persons pursuant to advance directive, etc.; transportation order. (SB1270)

Introduced By

Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Admission of incapacitated persons pursuant to advance directive or by guardian; transportation; pilot program. Provides that when the employee or designee of a local community services board who is conducting the evaluation of an individual required for the issuance of a temporary detention order into a facility for the treatment of mental illness and finds that the individual (i) has a mental illness, (ii) needs treatment in such a facility, (iii) lacks the capacity to consent to admission to the facility, and (iv) has designated an agent or has a guardian who has the authority to consent to the individual's admission, the evaluator shall contact the agent or guardian and determine whether the agent or guardian authorizes the person's admission to such a facility. If the agent or guardian authorizes the person's admission, the evaluator shall request the magistrate to issue a transportation order providing for the transport of the person to the facility by law enforcement or an alternative transportation provider. The bill also authorizes such employee or designee of a local community services board to be a capacity reviewer for purposes of determining whether a person who has executed an advance directive is incapable of making an informed decision in regard to mental health care, including his admission to a facility for the treatment of mental illness. Current law allows only a licensed physician or a clinical psychologist to act as a capacity reviewer. The provisions of the bill only apply in those localities in which the State Board of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services has established a pilot program. The bill provides that any pilot program established by the Board shall commence on July 1, 2016, and that the Board shall report on the implementation and effectiveness of the pilot program no later than November 30, 2017. The provisions of the bill expire on July 1, 2018. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/14/2015Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/15 15103453D
01/14/2015Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/28/2015Impact statement from DPB (SB1270)
02/09/2015Committee substitute printed to Web only 15104577D-S1
02/09/2015Failed to report (defeated) in Courts of Justice (6-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)


spotter writes:

Before going down this road, the General Assembly should assess how the previous changes to the law making it possible for a guardian to consent to admission to a psychiatric hospital are actually being carried out in the real world.

In the Hampton Roads area, our two local large public guardianship programs with hundreds of clients routinely include in each and every court order the boilerplate authority to consent to involuntary admission to a psychiatric hospital. Our judges rubber stamp these orders in the complete absence of the required medical evidence, even where the person under guardianship is intellectually disabled and has no prior psychiatric hospitalization or need for psychiatric treatment!

Of course, the guardian ad litem "for" the incapacitated person should object to these orders and "represent" her "client" by demanding that the petitioner produce proper evidence. Unfortunately, our judges ignore the law and the obvious conflict of interest, and permit the petitioners to hand-pick the same guardian ad litem in literally hundreds of cases. Predictably, and unethically, the guardian ad litem does not utter a peep of protest or do anything but collect a check.

These court orders are illegal, as is any involuntary hospitalization carried out in the absence of the required evidence. A lawsuit waiting to happen, once again thanks to our unethical public guardianship programs, which are permitted to break the law with impunity.