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Jeanne Helton presented at Florida Bar Webinar regarding the “Baker Act”

Smith Hulsey & Busey health care attorney Jeanne Helton and Florida Bar attorney Grant Dearborn co-presented a webinar on May 14, 2013 for The Florida Bar Health Law Section regarding the implications of recent changes to the Florida Mental Health Act, also known as the “Baker Act.”

Discussion focused on (i) the duties of health care facilities and licensed providers when presented with an individual brought in under the auspices of the Baker Act, (ii) the rights of individuals that are held for evaluation and treatment under the Baker Act and. (iii) the new reporting guidelines that will become effective on July 1, if Florida House Bill 1355, often referred to as the Baker Act Gun Control Law is signed into law. This bill, on Governor Scott’s desk for signature, will require providers who treat patients brought in under the authority of the Baker Act, who subsequently are determined to be in need of treatment and voluntarily consent when advised that involuntary commitment will be pursued, to report these individuals to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. These individuals subsequently will be prohibited from purchasing firearms absent judicial intervention.

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