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Offers doctor's and patient's perspectives of bipolar disorder.


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Additional resources for 100 questions and answers about bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder

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This is especially true if the patient is being evaluated in an emergency room. In those instances clinicians will generally Surviving release of general medical records is not enough. The patient must knowingly and specifically request psychiatric and/or drug and alcohol information to be released before it can be. Every effort is made to protect a patient’s right to privacy. qxd 10/18/06 10:42 AM Page 202 100 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT BIPOLAR (MANIC-DEPRESSIVE) DISORDER court. Only then will a judge determine whether or not a person can receive psychiatric care against his or her will in the form of medication or some other therapy.

Third, court-ordered or subpoenaed records can be released without the patient’s written authorization. However, a good clinician will usually notify the patient and attempt to obtain written authorization before honoring the court’s request. Fourth, hospitals and offices may release health care information without the patient’s written permission for the purposes of treatment, payment, or operations (TPO), such as quality control, peer review, teaching, and so on. This is encompassed under the HIPAA rules.

The right to refuse medication as an outpatient is respected most of the time. In fact, few states allow for involuntary outpatient treatment. This is changing, though in very specific and limited circumstances. Recent high-profile cases in various states where noncompliant mentally ill patients have injured or killed someone have prompted new involuntary outpatient treatment laws. But the requirements imposed upon caregivers for making their case for involuntary treatment are exceedingly stringent and require regular court review.

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