A voluntary patient who submits a written request to leave the hospital must be released unless the director of the psychiatric center believes that the person meets the requirements for involuntary admission and therefore needs to stay. In this case, the director must apply to a judge within 72 hours for authorization to keep the patient. If you are hospitalized as either a voluntary or informal status patient, you must be informed periodically of your status and rights, including your right to assistance from the Mental Hygiene Legal Service. In addition, once a year the psychiatric center director and the Mental Hygiene Legal Service must review each voluntary or informal status patient’s suitability and willingness to remain on such status.
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