Virginia Code

Section 37.1-84.1 of the Code of Virginia states: “Each person who is a patient, resident, or consumer in a hospital, other facility, or program operated, funded, or licensed by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services excluding those operated by the Department of Corrections, shall be assured his legal rights and care consistent with basic human dignity insofar as it is within the reasonable capabilities and limitations of the department, funded program, or licensee and is consistent with sound therapeutic treatment. Each person admitted to a hospital, other facility, or program operated, funded, or licensed by the department shall:

  1. Retain his legal rights as provided by state and federal law;
  2. Receive prompt evaluation and treatment or training about which he is informed insofar as he is capable of understanding;
  3. Be treated with dignity as a human being and be free from abuse or neglect;
  4. Not be the subject of experimental or investigational research without his prior written and informed consent or that of his legally authorized representative…
  5. Be afforded an opportunity to have access to consultation with a private physician at his own expense and, in the case of hazardous treatment or irreversible surgical procedures, have, upon request, an impartial review prior to implementation, except in case of emergency procedures required for the preservation of his health;
  6. Be treated under the least restrictive conditions consistent with his condition and not be subjected to unnecessary physical restraint and isolation;
  7. Be allowed to send and receive sealed letter mail;
  8. Have access to his medical and mental records and be assured of their confidentiality but, notwithstanding other provisions of law, such right shall be limited to access consistent with his condition and sound therapeutic treatment;
  9. Have the right to an impartial review of violations of the rights assured under this section and the right of access to legal counsel; and
  10. Be afforded appropriate opportunities, consistent with the person’s capabilities and capacity, to participate in the development and implementation of his individualized services plan.”

For information concerning the Local Human Rights Committee (LHRC), please contact the Advocate-Office of Human Rights.

Commonwealth Center Advocate

Riley Curran, HR Advocate
Tel: 877-600-7437 (toll free)
Fax: 540/332-8314

Mailing Address: Riley Curran, HR Advocate
Western State Hospital
P.O. Box 2500
Staunton, VA 24402-2500

The services of the Patient Advocate are available to every child admitted to the Center and are provided through the DBHDS Office of Human Rights.