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42 U.S. Code § 290ii - Requirement relating to the rights of residents of certain facilities

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(a) In general

A public or private general hospital, nursing facility, intermediate care facility, or other health care facility, that receives support in any form from any program supported in whole or in part with funds appropriated to any Federal department or agency shall protect and promote the rights of each resident of the facility, including the right to be free from physical or mental abuse, corporal punishment, and any restraints or involuntary seclusions imposed for purposes of discipline or convenience.

(b) RequirementsRestraints and seclusion may only be imposed on a resident of a facility described in subsection (a) if—
the restraints or seclusion are imposed to ensure the physical safety of the resident, a staff member, or others; and
the restraints or seclusion are imposed only upon the written order of a physician, or other licensed practitioner permitted by the State and the facility to order such restraint or seclusion, that specifies the duration and circumstances under which the restraints are to be used (except in emergency circumstances specified by the Secretary until such an order could reasonably be obtained).
(c) Current law

This part shall not be construed to affect or impede any Federal or State law or regulations that provide greater protections than this part regarding seclusion and restraint.

(d) DefinitionsIn this section:
(1) RestraintsThe term “restraints” means—
any physical restraint that is a mechanical or personal restriction that immobilizes or reduces the ability of an individual to move his or her arms, legs, or head freely, not including devices, such as orthopedically prescribed devices, surgical dressings or bandages, protective helmets, or any other methods that involves the physical holding of a resident for the purpose of conducting routine physical examinations or tests or to protect the resident from falling out of bed or to permit the resident to participate in activities without the risk of physical harm to the resident (such term does not include a physical escort); and
a drug or medication that is used as a restraint to control behavior or restrict the resident’s freedom of movement that is not a standard treatment for the resident’s medical or psychiatric condition.
(2) Seclusion

The term “seclusion” means a behavior control technique involving locked isolation. Such term does not include a time out.

(3) Physical escort

The term “physical escort” means the temporary touching or holding of the hand, wrist, arm, shoulder or back for the purpose of inducing a resident who is acting out to walk to a safe location.

(4) Time out

The term “time out” means a behavior management technique that is part of an approved treatment program and may involve the separation of the resident from the group, in a non-locked setting, for the purpose of calming. Time out is not seclusion.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title V, § 591, as added Pub. L. 106–310, div. B, title XXXII, § 3207, Oct. 17, 2000, 114 Stat. 1195.)