In response to recent articles in the Detroit Free Press about abuses in long-term care facilities, a reader who claimed to sell furniture to nursing homes wrote a letter to the editor claiming that nursing homes in Michigan are fined if side rails are used for residents, This is total nonsense. Side rails are considered a restraint under both state and federal law. By statute in Michigan, a facility must obtain the written consent of a resident or a resident’s family in order to use side rails,  MCL 333.21734. The law permits residents and consumers to be informed of the safety risks involved in the use of side rails. Side rail use requires proper assessment and consent. By no means is their use illegal.