Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr 2019 Jul 18;87(7):361-366. Epub 2019 Mar 18.
Alcohol intoxication is the most common psychiatric cause of admission to German emergency rooms. Many of these patients refuse inpatient observation or treatment. Therefore, the physician in charge will have to decide on how to proceed. The capacity to consent has to be clarified, especially if the patient insists on being discharged. In this context, the risks of injuries, complicated alcohol withdrawal, and aggressive or suicidal behaviour have to be evaluated. In this article, the juridical aspects and the necessary mental and physical assessments, especially in case of discharge of the patient against medical advice, are presented. Essential aspects are summarized in checklists.