Texas hospital system accused of holding patients illegally

November 16, 2018 - 10:38 am

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A Texas corporation that runs behavioral health hospitals is accused of illegally holding four patients.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that SAS Healthcare Inc. was indicted Wednesday on nine counts of violating the Texas Mental Health Code.

The indictment alleges the corporation known as Sundance Behavioral Healthcare System detained two patients involuntarily at its Arlington facility longer than the 48 hours allowed without a court order. It also accuses the company of not allowing two voluntary patients to leave.

Prosecutors on Thursday said filed a notice saying they will introduce extraneous offenses, including allegations the corporation didn't conduct welfare checks on a patient who died by suicide in the facility's care.

A law firm for SAS Healthcare said the "unprecedented" criminal prosecution "ignores legislatively enacted blanket immunity" that gives medical professionals discretion in treatment.

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