Code of the District of Columbia

§ 21–563. Use of restraints or seclusion; record of use.

A person who is hospitalized in a public or private hospital pursuant to this chapter has the right to be free from seclusion and restraint of any form that is not medically necessary or that is used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff, pursuant to the Mental Health Consumers’ Rights Protection Act of 2001, effective December 18, 2001 (D.C. Law 14-56; D.C. Official Code § 7-1231.01 et seq.).


(Sept. 14, 1965, 79 Stat. 758, Pub. L. 89-183, § 1; Feb. 24, 1984, D.C. Law 5-48, § 11(a)(17), 30 DCR 5778; Apr. 4, 2003, D.C. Law 14-283, § 2(cc), 50 DCR 917.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 21-563.

1973 Ed., § 21-563.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-283 rewrote the section which had read as follows: “§ 21-563. Use of mechanical restraints; record of use. A mechanical restraint may not be applied to a patient hospitalized in a public or private hospital for a mental illness unless the use of restraint is prescribed by a physician or qualified psychologist. If so prescribed, the restraint shall be removed whenever the condition justifying its use no longer exists. A use of a mechanical restraint, together with the reasons therefor, shall be made a part of the medical record of the patient.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(bb) of Mental Health Commitment Emergency Amendment Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-265, January 30, 2002, 49 DCR 1450).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(bb) of Mental Health Commitment Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-350, April 24, 2002, 49 DCR 4417).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(cc) of Mental Health Civil Commitment Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-546, December 12, 2002, 50 DCR 199).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(cc) of Mental Health Civil Commitment Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-41, March 24, 2003, 48 DCR 2784).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(bb) of D.C. Law 14-131 amended this section to read as follows: “§ 21-563. Use of restraints or seclusion; record of use. A person who is hospitalized in a public or private hospital pursuant to this chapter has the right to be free from seclusion and restraint of any form that is not medically necessary or that is used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation by staff, pursuant to the Mental Health Consumers’ Rights Protection Act of 2001, effective December 18, 2001 (D.C. Law 14-56; D.C. Official Code § 7-1231.01 et seq.).”