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B. D. v. Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 26, 2019

B. D., Appellant-Respondent,
v.
Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital, Appellee-Petitioner.

          Appeal from the Monroe Circuit Court The Honorable Stephen R. Galvin, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 53C07- 1810-MH-422

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Kyle K. Dugger Bloomington, Indiana

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE James L. Whitlatch Kathryn E. DeWeese Bunger & Robertson Bloomington, Indiana

          RILEY, JUDGE.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         [¶1] Appellant-Respondent, B.D., appeals the trial court's Order temporarily committing her to the care of Appellee-Petitioner, Indiana University Health, Bloomington Hospital (IU Health), for a period not to exceed ninety days.

         [¶2] We affirm. ISSUES

         [¶3] B.D. presents us with two issues on appeal, which we restate as:

(1) Whether the trial court's determination that B.D. was dangerous to herself was supported by clear and convincing evidence; and
(2) Whether the trial court's forced-medication order was supported by clear and convincing evidence.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         [¶4] In the fall of 2018, B.D. was fifty-one years old. B.D. had attempted to commit suicide in the past by overdosing on medication. Early in September 2018, B.D. was treated at Methodist Hospital[1] for manic behavior and substance abuse. B.D. was given injections of the mood stabilizer, Abilify Maintena (Abilify). B.D. responded well to the Abilify. B.D. was released from Methodist Hospital with a prescription for oral Abilify, but at some point thereafter she stopped taking her medication.

         [¶5] On October 8, 2018, B.D. called a mental-health hotline expressing suicidal ideation and claiming to have overdosed on medication. The authorities were alerted, and officers came to B.D.'s home to check on her well-being but then left. The following day, B.D. contacted the hotline again expressing suicidal ideation. Officers came to B.D.'s home and escorted her to IU Health in Bloomington, where she was held for treatment after the trial court authorized an emergency detention. When B.D. first presented for crisis-care at IU Health, she was experiencing suicidal ideation. B.D. was agitated and unwilling to cooperate with an examination. B.D. banged her head against a gurney and kicked a hole in the wall of the crisis care unit. On October 10, 2018, Dr. Gregory Sidell (Dr. Sidell) was initially unable to assess B.D. because she was screaming and refusing to talk. When Dr. Sidell was able to assess B.D., she reported having a plan to harm herself with a "[m]edication overdose." (Transcript p. 10). Dr. Sidell diagnosed B.D. with Bipolar Type 1 Disorder with psychotic features.

         [¶6] On October 10, 2018, IU Health filed a petition seeking a temporary involuntary commitment and a forced-medication order for Abilify injections for B.D. On October 12, 2018, the trial court held a hearing on the petition. Dr. Sidell was the sole witness for IU Health. Dr. Sidell testified that on October 11, 2018, B.D. had denied having continuing thoughts of suicide but that he had been informed by a member of Positive Link, a service provider to B.D. who she would contact for emotional support, that B.D. "would tell me and the rest of the hospital staff what she thought we wanted in order to let her go and that she still did have suicidal ideation." (Tr. p. 7). Based upon his own evaluation of B.D. and the report from Positive Link, Dr. Sidell had concluded ...


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