A patient with depression has been taken to the emergency department by a friend because she made statements that she was thinking of killing herself. The physician has ordered that the patient be admitted for inpatient treatment but the patient refuses. What best explains the patients rights in this situation?


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- The patient, if she is competent, has the right to refuse inpatient treatment

- The patient is not safe and the nurse should fill out a petition to legally keep the patient

- The patient does not have the right to refuse treatment and should be placed in restraints

- The patient may refuse inpatient treatment but she must agree to outpatient therapy


When a patient makes threats to harm themselves or other people, it is the duty of the nurse (or anyone else) to petition that patient for further evaluation. Petitions are good for 72 hours. A patient must be seen within the 72 hours by a psychiatrist or psychologist. It is illegal to hold someone against their will if they are not petitioned. Restraints would not be appropriate.

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