STATE CHARITABLE INSTITUTIONS
HOSPITALIZATION OF MENTALLY ILL
66-346. Right to communication and visitation — Exercise of civil rights. (a) Every patient shall have the following rights:
(1) To communicate by sealed mail or otherwise, with persons, inside or outside the facility and to have access to reasonable amounts of letter writing material and postage;
(2) To receive visitors at all reasonable times;
(3) To wear his own clothes; to keep and use his own personal possessions including toilet articles; to keep and be allowed to spend a reasonable sum of his own money for canteen expenses and small purchases; to have access to individual storage space for his private use;
(4) To refuse specific modes of treatment;
(5) To be visited by his attorney or any employee of his attorney’s firm, or a representative of the state protection and advocacy system at any time;
(6) To exercise all civil rights, including the right to dispose of property except property described in subsection (3) above, execute instruments, make purchases, enter into contractual relationships, and vote unless limited by prior court order;
(7) To have reasonable access to all records concerning himself.
(b) Notwithstanding any limitations authorized under this section on the right of communication, every patient shall be entitled to communicate by sealed mail with the court, if any, which ordered his commitment.
(c) The director of a facility may deny a patient’s rights under this section, except that the rights enumerated in subsections (a)(5) and (a)(6) of this section, shall not be denied by the director of the facility under any circumstances. Only in cases of emergency or when a court has determined that a patient lacks capacity to make informed decisions about treatment, may the director of a facility deny a patient’s rights under subsection (a)(4) of this section. A statement explaining the reasons for any denial of a patient’s rights shall be immediately entered in his treatment record and if the patient has been committed pursuant to court order, copies of such statement shall be submitted to the committing court and sent to the patient’s spouse, guardian, adult next of kin or friend and attorney, if any.
(d) A list of the foregoing rights shall be prominently posted in all facilities and brought to the attention of the patient by such means as the board of health and welfare shall designate.
[66-346, added 1951, ch. 290, sec. 30, p. 622; am. 1973, ch. 173, sec. 24, p. 363; am. 1981, ch. 114, sec. 33, p. 192; am. 2004, ch. 315, sec. 2, p. 886.]