What should I think about if a patient is moving from one county or state to another, is not competent to consent, on legal conservatorship, and requires treatment with Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)?

The laws and their interpretation vary substantially by location. General statements may not pertain to your specific situation and obtaining specific legal counsel is critical. Often, with regard to involuntary status and ECT, the place where someone is domiciled is the county and state that has jurisdiction. This can lead to awkward or seemingly irrational situations. For example, if someone’s residence is in San Diego, then the Superior Court of San Diego may have jurisdiction. If the person maintains residence in a different county as their official address then it gets trickier because that location may have jurisdiction even though the treatment occurs in San Diego. You should be very careful and speak with a mental health attorney, and be cognizant that attorneys could give you incorrect advice and then you are responsible.

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