This booklet provides information about the rights of patients who are at the adult psychiatric hospitals run by the State of Washington: Western State Hospital and Eastern State Hospital.
A person may be required to stay at the hospital because he or she is under an order of civil commitment issued under Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 71.05. Those patients are referred to as “civil patients” in this booklet.
A person may also have to stay at the hospital under RCW 10.77, the law that governs the commitment of people involved in the criminal justice system. People who are at the hospital under RCW 10.77 are referred to as “forensic patients” in this booklet. Forensic patients can include people committed to the hospital following a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity. It also includes people who are committed for competency evaluations and restoration before a criminal proceeding.
Though this publication will address the rights of all patients at the state’s adult psychiatric hospitals, in some cases, the rights of patients may be different depending on whether they are civil or forensic patients because different rules may apply to these two groups. Therefore, this booklet will note when the rights of forensic patients are different from those of civil patients.
The first section of this booklet explains specific patient rights. The second section explains what a patient may do if he or she disagrees with a decision to limit or take away a right. It will also provide information about agencies or individuals a patient may contact for help.