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The application of mental health legislation in younger children

  • Victoria Thomas (a1), Barry Chipchase (a1), Lisa Rippon (a1) and Paul McArdle (a1)
Summary

We review a case history of a young child who was admitted to an in-patient mental health unit due to extremely challenging behaviour and review the legal issues that had to be considered in ensuring that there was appropriate legal authority for the child's admission and treatment. In this particular case, the patient was detained for assessment under section 2 of the Mental Health Act 1983. This case demonstrates that all clinicians working in this area require a good understanding of the law in relation to treatment of children with mental disorder, which is extremely complex.

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Copyright
This is an open-access article published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence to Victoria Thomas (victoria.thomas@ntw.nhs.uk)
Footnotes
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This article was completed before the publication of the new Code of Practice for the Mental Health Act 1983.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Department of Health, National Institute for Mental Health in England. The Legal Aspects of the Care and Treatment of Children and Young People with Mental Disorder: A Guide for Professionals. Department of Health, 2009.
2 Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority [1986] AC 112.
3 Department of Health. Mental Health Act 1983 Code of Practice. TSO (The Stationery Office), 2008.
4 Vallance, AK. Seeking clarity in the twilight zone. Commentary on … Adolescent decision-making and the zone of parental control. Adv Psychiatr Treat 2014; 20: 151–2.
5 Akerele, F. Adolescent decision-making and the zone of parental control: a missed opportunity for legislative change. Adv Psychiatr Treat 2014; 20: 144–50.
6 RK v BCC and others [2011] EWCA Civ 1305.
7 P (by his litigation friend the Official Solicitor) v Cheshire West and Chester Council and another; P and Q (by their litigation friend, the Official Solicitor) v Surrey County Council [2014] UKSC 19.
8 British Medical Association. Consent, Rights and Choices in Health Care for Children and Young People. BMA, 2001.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 2056-4694
  • EISSN: 2056-4708
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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The application of mental health legislation in younger children

  • Victoria Thomas (a1), Barry Chipchase (a1), Lisa Rippon (a1) and Paul McArdle (a1)
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