SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon State Hospital has suspended all civil admissions until Dec. 27 to prioritize patients ordered by courts to receive competency restoration treatment.
The Bulletin reports the pause on civil commitments was announced in a Monday letter to the hospital’s statewide partners. It is effective immediately.
According to hospital spokeswoman Rebeka Gipson-King, the move is intended to help the hospital comply with a 2003 federal court ruling that requires criminal defendants ordered to receive treatment so they can meaningfully assist in their own trial be admitted within seven days of a judge’s order.
Gipson-King said hospital administrators chose Dec. 27 for the suspension to expire because that’s when they feel the hospital will be able to begin accepting civil admissions and not be in danger of violating the seven-day rule.
The state hospital was sued this year by Disability Rights Oregon for not complying with the rule. In 2018, more than 200 patients had to wait longer than seven days, a problem which hospital administrators said was caused by an unforeseen influx of aid and assist patients.