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Client rights may not be taken away from you for punishment or for staff convenience. Some rights can be taken away if good cause exists. Good cause to deny rights exists only when the exercise of the right would cause injury to individual, a serious infringement on the rights of others or serious damage to the facility and there is no less restrictive way of protecting the interest specified.
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The legal criterion of danger to self or others has been narrowly defined by the courts to mean: "A demonstrated danger of substantial harm." This danger must be physical, not psychological or social harm.
Grave disability is a condition in which a person, as a result of a mental disorder, is unable to provide for his or her basic needs. A determination of grave disability, although necessarily including a consideration of past events, must be based upon the individual’s current condition. A person is not gravely disabled if they can survive without involuntary detention with the help of responsible family, or others who are willing and able help provide for the person’s basic needs of food, clothing and shelter.
A person also may not be considered gravely disabled based upon their status as "homeless: if he/she knows how to access and obtain food, clothing and shelter that meet his/her needs through community agencies.
In addition, the refusal to consent to psychotropic medications does not in itself constitute grounds for grave disability or initiating involuntary commitment.