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Tennessee Code Annotated

33-3-120. Isolation and restraints prohibited - Exceptions and limitations.

(a) Service recipients have the right to be free from isolation and restraints, in any form, imposed as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation by staff. Restraints include physical and mechanical restraints and drugs used to control behavior or to restrict freedom of movement if the drug or the dosage of the drug is not a standard treatment for the service recipient's medical or psychiatric condition. Isolation is placement of a person alone in a room from which egress is prevented. Isolation and restraint may be used only while the condition justifying its use exists.

(b) A person with mental illness or serious emotional disturbance may be isolated or restrained only in emergency situations if necessary to assure the physical safety of the person or another person nearby or to prevent significant destruction of property. If a person imposes restraints or isolation, the person shall immediately contact a qualified mental health professional who is permitted under department rules to authorize the isolation or restraint. If the treating physician is not the person who orders isolation or restraint, the treating physician shall be consulted as soon as possible. A professional authorized to permit isolation or restraint shall see and evaluate the person for the need for isolation or restraint within one (1) hour of the intervention.

(c) A person with developmental disability may be restrained only as part of an approved plan or in emergency situations if necessary to assure the physical safety of the person or another person nearby or to prevent significant destruction of property. Isolation may only be used with a person with developmental disability as part of the person's approved plan. Only psychologists, psychological examiners, senior psychological examiners, physicians, behavior analysts, masters degree social workers, and others authorized to do so under department rules may develop a plan that includes or authorizes isolation or restraint of a person with developmental disability.

(d) Staff shall remain in the physical presence of a person in restraint. Staff shall continuously observe a person in isolation or restraint for the health and well being of the person.

(e) The professional shall record the use of restraint or isolation, the reasons for its use, and the duration of its use in the person's record.

(f) All staff who may have direct contact with a person being restrained or isolated shall receive ongoing education and training in alternative methods for handling behavior and the safe use of isolation and restraint.

(g) The department shall adopt rules as to circumstances under which use of restraint and isolation are permitted. The department shall distribute the rules to all who provide services covered by this title.

(h) The department shall report annually to the statewide planning and policy council on the use of restraint and isolation in the state and its rules on the subject.

[Acts 2000, ch. 947, § 1; 2001, ch. 334, § 2; 2002, ch. 730, § 15.]

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