Signing at a Hospital With a False Name

In In re MH-1140-6-93, 176 Ariz. 565, 568, 863 P.2d 284, 287 (App. 1993), the patient signed in at a hospital using a false name and refused to cooperate with the admissions process. Id. at 566, 863 P.2d at 285. The patient also refused to communicate with both physicians or be examined by them. Id. Two physicians testified that the patient would walk away or refuse to speak with them when they attempted to examine the patient. Id. at 567, 863 P.2d at 286. Both physicians tried more than once to communicate with the patient and the patient refused each time. Id. Recognizing that statutes for involuntary commitment must be strictly construed, we nonetheless declined to apply the law "in a manner resulting in absurdity or impossibility; to do so would be contrary to legislative intent." Id. at 567-68, 863 P.2d at 286-87. The Court therefore affirmed the treatment order, concluding that even though the statute requires a physician to explain the advantages and disadvantages of treatment to a patient, mental health officials are not required to "engage in a confrontation with a mentally ill patient or have the patient physically restrained in order to fulfill the letter of the requirement . . . particularly where . . . the record reflects a long history of mental illness, and testimony of four witnesses establishes current behavior supporting the diagnosis of an acute and persistent disorder." Id. at 568, 863 P.2d at 287.