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Please read the instructions: Peer 1 Jessica Baker Act Law Unlawful restraint of

Please read the instructions:
Peer 1
Baker Act Law
Unlawful restraint of a patient can be a pitfall for the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). However, in some cases, involuntary hospitalization is legal if patients pose a threat to themselves or the people around them. The case presented involves a woman called K.W. She was found eating hamburgers from a McDonald’s dumpster. K.W. was also seen drinking water from a dirty old water hose. People noted she has not been taking a bath for weeks and refuses to stay in an apartment, arguing she wants “to live off the fat of the land.” Obviously, K.W. posed a threat to herself and her neighbors. She could get ill from eating and drinking dirty water and food from dumpsters. Therefore, she can be restrained or involuntarily hospitalized under the Bakers Act.
The Bakers Act was established in 1971 in Florida. The law focuses on crisis service for people with mental health issues. It allows the state of Florida to involuntarily hold people who pose a threat to themselves or others in society (Gibbs, 2023). People are eligible to be held in a mental facility involuntarily if they have mental illness and refuse to be examined; individuals are unable or unlikely to care for themselves and can substantially cause harm to others. According to the act, the mental status of a person or the stigma may cause an individual to feel shame, keeping them from asking for help. Therefore, Florida established the Bakers Act to protect its citizens from harming themselves and others.
K.W. meets the requirements of the Bakers Act. She was found eating from the dumpster and drinking from a dirty hose pipe. She also refuses to bathe and stay in an apartment. This characteristics reveals that she had some mental health issues. She could not have exposed herself to hazardous health conditions if she was a normal person. She could have agreed to stay in a clean apartment or eat and drink healthily. Therefore, the state of Florida had the power to involuntary K.W. since she was a threat to herself in terms of health.
Newspaper Article
The article “In Florida, showing mental health struggles could get a child detained,” posted in The Washington Post on March 16, 2023, highlights the example of the application of the Bakers Act. According to the article, a fourth grader in Florida was involuntarily hospitalized after a failure to finish his exams (St. George, 2023). The young boy was frustrated about sitting for his afternoon exams. When the teacher asked him, he stated that he wanted God to do it for him. The teacher was frustrated by the young boy’s answer and suspected he was mentally unwell. She reported the case to the deputy sheriff, who stepped in using the controversial Bakers Act (St. George, 2023). The deputy sheriff ordered an involuntary psychiatric evaluation and temporary holding of the boy in a mental health facility.
However, critics of the Bakers Act argue that, in most cases, ethical considerations are ignored. The officers ignore the patient’s autonomy. They assume that any patient choosing to live  in harsh conditions has mental challenges and cannot make effective decisions. Besides, the mental facility should consider if involuntary hospitalization is the least restrictive way of keeping the patient safe (Gibbs, 2023). In both cases, Florida’s Bakers Act of 1971 may not be the most effective way of restraining patients. In the case of K.W., the mental health officers ignored the instances where she could have been of sound mind choosing to live in harsh conditions. Besides, the young boy who refused to do the exam was also young and immature. Thus, his argument that God was to answer his question was because he was young. Therefore, in some instances, the Bakers Act leads to unethical hospitalization of patients. However, in the case of KW, it was okay to restrain her. This is because she was posing a health threat to herself and her neighbors. Thus, the act could have been applied to involuntarily restrain her for medical treatment.
Peers 2

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