Skip to Content

Wash. Rev. Code § 71.05.215

Link to the law
This will open in a new window

Right to refuse antipsychotic medicine — Rules

Individuals that are disabled or present a likelihood of serious harm as a result of a mental disorder have the right to refuse antipsychotic medication. However, this right does not apply if refusing the medication may create a “likelihood of serious harm or substantial deterioration or substantially prolong the length of involuntary commitment and there is no less intrusive course of treatment than medication in the best interest of that person.”

The department of social and health services must create rules regarding the administration of antipsychotic medication that contain the items:

  •         Providers must try to obtain an individuals informed consent before administering the antipsychotic medication.
  •         Individuals receiving short-term treatment (30 days or less) may refuse antipsychotic medication unless a psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, or physician agrees with the prescribing provider that administration of the medication is medically appropriate.
  •         Individuals receiving treatment for over 30 days may file a petition to review the medical decision.
  •         Providers may administer medication due to an “emergency” if, an individual creates an “imminent likelihood of serious harm,” an alternative to antipsychotic medication is not appropriate, and the provider believes that they do not have time to obtain a second opinion before administering the medication. The decision to administer medication due to an emergency must be reviewed within 24 hours.  
  •         Providers must document their attempts to obtain informed consent and their reasons for administering antipsychotic medication against the patient’s wishes in the patient’s medical record.

Current as of June 2015