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Bill of Rights

LCMHS will provide services to all consumers in a manner that is sensitive to their age, gender, social preferences, cultural orientation, psychological characteristics, sexual orientation, physical situation and spiritual beliefs.

You have the right to receive available treatment and services which you believe best suits your individual needs. If you are denied services, you may file a grievance and/or contact one of the advocacy organizations.

You have the right to refuse treatment, medication, and any other type of service offered to you by anyone, including mental health professionals. If someone attempts to impose treatment and /or Medication on you, and you refuse, a legal proceeding at which you have the right to legal representation must take place. A judge will then decide whether you are competent to make your own decisions concerning your treatment. If, however you are behaving in a way which obviously endangers yourself or other people, you risk being admitted to Vermont State Hospital or another designated facility on an emergency basis without a hearing. Threatening or attempting to commit suicide and physically assaulting someone else are examples of danger to you and others.

You retain your right to refuse treatment, including medication, even if you are on an order of treatment. However, this order can be revoked if a mental health professional files a request for revocation and a court approves it after a hearing. If this occurs, you may be returned to Vermont State Hospital or other designated facility. Ultimately, there is a risk involved when you refuse treatment or medication, but if you are convinced it is a risk you wish to take, you can.

You have the right to an individualized, written individual treatment plan or individual service agreement and the right to participate in the designing of the plan.

You have the right to be informed about your services so you can make informed decisions regarding your service plan. This means that you are to be given an explanation of the treatment being offered to you in a manner that you can understand, and you should be able to ask questions if you are not sure about what is being said.

You have the right to review your individual treatment plan or individual service agreement at any time and to request changes according to your needs and wishes.

Families have a right to receive services without relinquishing custody of a child, except when custody is terminated by a court because of abuse, neglect, or abandonment.

People who are committed to the department because they present a major danger to public safety may experience some restrictions to their rights.

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