• A patient may only leave against medical advice if they are competent and have been given full informed consent
  • In the case of a psychiatric patient, a determination of their risk of self-harm should be made 
  • Any patient brought in under a Section 23 is not allowed to leave until reviewed by a medical officer
  • Any incompetent patient who is at risk to themselves or others can be prevented from leaving under duty of care or in cases of psychiatric patients, detained.
  • Appropriate physical and chemical restraint can be used to prevent an incompetent patient who is at risk from leaving


Disclaimer: Note: The information described here relates solely to operational matters in the Emergency Department.  Every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the content. However, neither the author or the hospital will take responsibility for errors resulting from its use.  Please refer to your own departmental guidelines and verify all clinical decisions with a reliable source.  

Date Last Reviewed: 05/08/2004