New Hampshire gives providers say over use of restraints

July 13, 2019 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire is changing the way psychiatric patients are transported to the hospital for involuntary commitment.

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill Friday that would put medical professionals instead of police in charge of deciding whether physical restraints are necessary.

The bill’s prime sponsor was Sen. Tom Sherman, a doctor and Democrat from Rye. He says the new law is a step toward decriminalization of mental illness. He said there are some cases in which restraints might be necessary, but mental health experts should make that call.

The new law takes effect Jan. 1.