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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