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What is serious mental impairment?

A person with serious mental impairment lacks sufficient judgment to make responsible decisions about the person's hospitalization or treatment, and who because of that condition:

  • Is likely to injure the person's self or others if allowed to remain free without treatment.
  • Is likely to inflict serious emotional injury on family members or others who lack reasonable opportunity to avoid contact with the person, if the person with mental illness is allowed to remain free without treatment.
  • Is unable to satisfy needs for nourishment, clothing, essential medical care, or shelter so that it is likely that the person will suffer physical injury, physical debilitation, or death without treatment.

See Iowa Code chapter 229.

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