Helping people with mental disorders poses a challenge to the members of medical emergency services (EMS). Psychiatric patients are often unpredictable and applying physical coercion is necessary in some cases.
The aim of this paper was to present and comment on legal foundations of application of different forms of physical coercion by EMS members and describe how to fill out medical records required every time physical coercion was used.
According to the amendments of Polish Mental Health Act made in 2010, the EMS members were granted the right to apply physical coercion. Further amendments to the Mental Health Act and the introduction of appropriate Ministry of Health decree define forms of physical coercion, indications to apply physical coercion and include a sample of proper medical records which are required in all cases of application of physical coercion.
Application of physical coercion should always be treated as last-line treatment option while helping patients suffering from mental disturbances. Obeying the law every time a decision regarding physical coercion is made protects patients’ right to receive dignified care and treatment as well as the rights of medical professionals
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SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.