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Introduced by Representative Donahue of Northfield

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Mental health; transportation; mechanical restraints; children

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to ensure that mechanical restraints are not used on a child under the age of 11 who is being transported to or from an inpatient setting without authorization by the commissioner or deputy commissioner of mental health.


It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  18 V.S.A. § 7511 is amended to read: 


(a)  The commissioner shall ensure that all reasonable and appropriate measures consistent with public safety are made to transport or escort a person subject to this chapter to and from any inpatient setting, including escorts within a designated hospital or the Vermont state hospital, or otherwise being transported under the jurisdiction of the commissioner in any manner which:

(1)  prevents physical and psychological trauma;

(2)  respects the privacy of the individual; and

(3)  represents the least restrictive means necessary for the safety of the patient.

(b)  The commissioner shall have the authority to designate the professionals who may authorize the method of transport of patients under the commissioner’s care and custody.

(c)  When a professional designated pursuant to subsection (b) of this section decides an individual is in need of secure transport with mechanical restraints, the reasons for such determination shall be documented in writing.

(d)  Only the commissioner or deputy commissioner personally may authorize the use of mechanical restraints during the transport of a child under the age of 11.  A record shall be made of the authorization.

(e)  It is the policy of the state of Vermont that mechanical restraints are not routinely used on persons subject to this chapter unless circumstances dictate that such methods are necessary.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont