HELENA, Mont. — A hearing on a request to move two Montana State Hospital patients held in an intensive treatment unit into the general population has been continued to December.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports District Judge Kathy Seeley said Tuesday she had not heard any testimony about how the patients might be kept safe if they were moved.

Disability Rights Montana attorney Bridgitt Erickson says the patients have suffered psychological and emotional harm while being held in isolation.

The group is representing the patients in a lawsuit alleging the state health department and several employees violated their own policies and state and federal laws in their treatment of the patients. The disability rights group sought an order to have the two isolated patients moved to the general population while the lawsuit was pending.

Two hospital psychiatrists testified Monday that the patients can be unpredictably violent, which is part of the reason they are held in isolation.

VIAThe Associated Press
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