|During the 2003 state legislative session,
the Legislature passed and the Governor approved Senate Bill 5223,
which authorizes the use of mental health advance directives. Mental
health advance directives allow individuals to express their preferences
and provide instructions about mental health treatment. The directive
must be respected by medical and mental health professionals, guardians,
agents, attorneys-in-fact, and other surrogate decision-makers acting
on behalf of the patient.
The bill takes
effect July 27, 2003. Hospitals must be prepared to comply
with the bill’s requirements on this date.
The original bill proposed by the legislature would have been unmanageable
for hospitals. We worked hard to develop a more reasonable mental
health advance directives bill. Implementation of the bill’s
requirements will still be challenging. This page provides materials
hospitals and other health providers need to adhere to the new law.
||Bulletins to Hospitals
This bulletin provides an introduction to the law and outlines materials
WSHA and AWPHD have produced to help hospitals comply.
Hospitals may adopt this model policy for their own facilities. It
includes key definitions, procuedures, and considerations for hospital
and medical staff.
||Brochure For Patients
“What Patients Need to Know About Mental Health Advance Directives,”
can be given to patients. It answers key questions and provides resources
for patients who want to have a mental health advance directive. Providing
the brochure to patients on admisssion will help hospitals meet the
community education requirement of the Patient Self-Determination
View Brochure in Spanish
||Power Point Presentation
This presentation walks through the most significant parts of the
mental health advance directive procedures and requirements. It is
an excellent tool for training staff. (Thanks to Washington Casualty
Company for developing it.)
Clinicians can use this checklist to determine a patient’s capacity
for purposes of triggering a mental health advance directive. (Thanks
to Physicians Insurance and Washington Casualty Company for developing
||Text of the Law
This PDF file is the full text of
Senate Bill 5223 as signed by the Governor.