The Matter of the Necessity for the Hospitalization of Mark V.

[HEALTH LAW]

In the Matter of the Necessity for the Hospitalization of Mark V.,[1] the supreme court held that the petitioner bears the burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that a respondent is gravely disabled and that commitment is the least restrictive alternative.[2] Anchorage police took Mark V. into custody and transported him to a psychiatric emergency department after he “presented himself nude in public” and claimed to be the King of England.[3] He was transferred to the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (“API”) after it was determined that he was gravely disabled as a result of paranoid schizophrenia.[4] The state filed a petition seeking to extend Mark V.’s commitment in API by thirty days.[5] To be involuntarily committed for thirty days, courts must find that an individual is gravely disabled.[6] At the thirty-day commitment hearing, Dr. Gee, a registered nurse, gave her opinion that if Mark V. returned home, he would not be able to properly maintain himself.[7] At the close of testimony, Mark V.’s attorney argued that Mark should be returned home on an outpatient treatment basis as a less restrictive alternative to hospitalization at API.[8] The magistrate judge held that there was clear and convincing evidence that Mark V. was gravely disabled and that there was no less restrictive alternative to hospitalization.[9] The superior court approved the thirty-day commitment order.[10] On appeal the Supreme Court held that the petitioner bears the burden of proving that a gravely disabled person could not function even with the support of family and friends.[11] However, given Dr. Gee’s testimony about Mark’s condition, the magistrate judge’s finding was supported by clear and convincing evidence.[12] Affirming the lower court, the supreme court held that the petitioner must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent is gravely disabled and that commitment is the least restrictive alternative.[13]

[1] 375 P.3d 51 (Alaska 2016).
[2] Id. at 56.
[3] Id. at 54.
[4] Id.
[5] Id.
[6] Id. at 56.
[7] Id.
[8] Id.
[9] Id.
[10] Id. at 55.
[11] Id. at 58.
[12] Id. at 60.
[13] Id.

The Matter of the Necessity for the Hospitalization of Mark V.

[HEALTH LAW]

In the Matter of the Necessity for the Hospitalization of Mark V.,[1] the supreme court held that the petitioner bears the burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that a respondent is gravely disabled and that commitment is the least restrictive alternative.[2] Anchorage police took Mark V. into custody and transported him to a psychiatric emergency department after he “presented himself nude in public” and claimed to be the King of England.[3] He was transferred to the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (“API”) after it was determined that he was gravely disabled as a result of paranoid schizophrenia.[4] The state filed a petition seeking to extend Mark V.’s commitment in API by thirty days.[5] To be involuntarily committed for thirty days, courts must find that an individual is gravely disabled.[6] At the thirty-day commitment hearing, Dr. Gee, a registered nurse, gave her opinion that if Mark V. returned home, he would not be able to properly maintain himself.[7] At the close of testimony, Mark V.’s attorney argued that Mark should be returned home on an outpatient treatment basis as a less restrictive alternative to hospitalization at API.[8] The magistrate judge held that there was clear and convincing evidence that Mark V. was gravely disabled and that there was no less restrictive alternative to hospitalization.[9] The superior court approved the thirty-day commitment order.[10] On appeal the Supreme Court held that the petitioner bears the burden of proving that a gravely disabled person could not function even with the support of family and friends.[11] However, given Dr. Gee’s testimony about Mark’s condition, the magistrate judge’s finding was supported by clear and convincing evidence.[12] Affirming the lower court, the supreme court held that the petitioner must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent is gravely disabled and that commitment is the least restrictive alternative.[13]

[1] 375 P.3d 51 (Alaska 2016).
[2] Id. at 56.
[3] Id. at 54.
[4] Id.
[5] Id.
[6] Id. at 56.
[7] Id.
[8] Id.
[9] Id.
[10] Id. at 55.
[11] Id. at 58.
[12] Id. at 60.
[13] Id.