Testimony in Support of H.3204 before the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery

The Mass Medical Society wishes to be recorded in support of H.3204, An Act Relative to Psychotropic Medication.  This bill would allow health care facilities to administer a scheduled psychotropic medication without prior written informed consent in the following instances:

  • In the case of an admission of a resident to a facility from an inpatient hospital in which the resident had been prescribed and was receiving psychotropic medications pursuant to a valid informed consent, or when a facility is not able to obtain an informed consent in writing prior to or at the time of admission to the facility; or
  • In emergency situations, as defined by the Department of Public Health; or
  • In the case of residents on hospice care who need the immediate administration of psychotropic medication to prevent extreme distress, discomfort and /or pain.

In cases where the patient was discharged from an inpatient hospital and in emergency situations, the facility would have to obtain verbal informed consent prior to administration, and written informed consent as soon as practicable, but no later than 3 consecutive calendar days, following administration of a scheduled psychotropic medication. If written informed consent cannot be obtained within the three-day period the dosage would have to be reduced in a clinically appropriate manner and documented to terminate the psychotropic medication. 

H.3204 puts forth a reasonable plan to ensure that newly-admitted or re-admitted residents to long-term care facilities do not experience disruptions in the administration of psychotropic medications and to ensure appropriate documentation and follow up by the admitting facility in a timely manner.

The MMS encourages the Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery to report H.3204 out of committee favorably. 

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