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Faith, ethics and Section 63 of the Mental Health Act 1983

  • Martin Curtice (a1) and Louisa James (a1)
Summary

Section 63 of the Mental Health Act 1983 states that an approved clinician can provide medical treatment irrespective of whether or not a detained patient has capacity to refuse such treatment. Case law has established that a range of acts ancillary to the core mental disorder treatment are allowed under Section 63. This article analyses a unique court judgment involving a detained Jehovah's Witness patient who had made an advance decision refusing blood transfusions but who self-inflicted lacerations resulting in blood loss. Core issues within the case involved capacity to consent to treatment and the ethics of treating or not treating patients in such cases.

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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 Martin Curtice (mjrc68@doctors.org.uk)
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust v RC [2014] EWHC 1317 (COP).
2 Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust v J [2014] EWHC 1136 (COP).
3 St George's Healthcare NHS Trust v S [1969] Fam 28.
4 Home Secretary v Robb [1995] 1 FLR 412.
5 Newcastle Upon-Tyne-Hospitals Foundation Trust v LM [2014] EWHC 454 (COP).
6 R (on the application of B) v Haddock (Responsible Medical Officer) [2006] MHLR 306.
7 St George's Healthcare NHS Trust v S [1998] 2 FLR 728.
8 RadcliffesLeBrasseur. Recent Guidance on what Treatment can Fall within Section 63 MHA. Mental Health Law Briefing 150. RadcliffesLeBrasseur, 2009.
9 An NHS Trust v Child B & Ors [2014] EWHC 3486 (Fam) (01 August 2014).
10 Rabone & Anor v Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust [2012] UKSC 2.
11 Ruck Keene A, Burnell H. Section 63 Mental Health Act 1983 and the overdosing patient. Clin Risk 2014; 20: 111–3.
12 Ex parte Brady [2000] Lloyd's Rep Med 355.
13 Curtice, M. Force-feeding: implications for the Mental Health Act 1983 and the Human Rights Act 1998. J Ment Health 2002; 11: 235–43.
14 B v Croydon Health Authority [1995] Fam 133.
15 A NHS Trust v Dr A [2014] 2 WLR 607.
16 Tameside and Glossop Acute Services v CH [1996] 1 FLR 762.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 2056-4694
  • EISSN: 2056-4708
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Faith, ethics and Section 63 of the Mental Health Act 1983

  • Martin Curtice (a1) and Louisa James (a1)
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