Informed Consent for Meds not Obtained for Four Patients

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) cited Central Florida Behavioral Hospital for failing to uphold patients’ rights to informed consent regarding their psychiatric treatment. AHCA found that the facility failed to obtain “expressed and informed consent” from four patients for the administration of medications. One of the patients, who was 15 years old, was administered two psychotropic medications (Haldol and Risperdal) and had his/her medication dosage of Risperdal increased five times during the hospitalization without expressed and informed consent from a parent or legal guardian. AHCA determined that the facility was non-compliant with Florida regulations which state: “No facility or service provider shall initiate any mental health treatment, including psychotropic medications, until expressed and informed consent for psychiatric treatment is sought from a person legally qualified to give it…” As a result, the facility had to submit a plan of correction to address its cited deficiencies and review its consent policies and practices to ensure compliance.