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494Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 20010322Primary Sponsor: PeelerAll Sponsors: Peeler, Gregory and ShortDrafted Document Number: l:\council\bills\swb\5260djc01.docResiding Body: SenateCurrent Committee: Medical Affairs Committee 13 SMASubject: Mental health patients, county emergency medical personnel may transport person to mental health hospitalHistory Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ ______________________________________ _______ ____________ Senate 20010322 Introduced, read first time, 13 SMA referred to Committee Versions of This Bill
TO AMEND SECTION 44-17-440, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO MENTAL HEALTH AND TRANSPORTATION OF PERSONS REQUIRING IMMEDIATE CARE SO AS TO REQUIRE THAT COUNTY EMERGENCY MEDICAL PERSONNEL TRANSPORT CERTAIN PERSONS TO A MENTAL HEALTH HOSPITAL IN LIEU OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 44-17-440 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 290 of 1994, is further amended to read:
"Section 44-17-440. The certificate required by Section 44-17-410 must authorize and require
a state or local law enforcement officer, preferably in civilian clothes, to take into custody and the county emergency medical service personnel to transport the person to the hospital designated by the certification. No person may be taken into custody after the expiration of three days from the date of certification. A friend or relative may transport the individual to the mental health facility designated in the application, if the friend or relative has read and signed a statement on the certificate which clearly states that it is the responsibility of a state or local law enforcement officer to provide timely transportation for the patient and that the friend or relative freely chooses to assume that responsibility. A friend or relative who chooses to transport the patient is not entitled to reimbursement from the State for the cost of the transportation. An officer Personnel acting in accordance with this article is are immune from civil liability. Upon entering a written agreement between the local law enforcement agency emergency medical services agencies, the governing body of the local government, and the directors of the community mental health centers, an alternative transportation program utilizing peer supporters and case managers may be arranged for nonviolent persons requiring mental health treatment. The agreement clearly must define the responsibilities of each party and the requirements for program participation. For purposes of this section, 'county emergency medical service personnel' includes private and contracted emergency personnel charged with emergency medical services in the county.
When necessary for the safety of the person being transported or others, law enforcement officers, preferably in unmarked cars and civilian clothes, may assist and support emergency medical services personnel in transporting a person needing emergency care to the hospital designated by the certification."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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