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Second Opinions for ECT and Extended Medication—Mental Health Act 1983: Attitudes of Consultant Psychiatrists and Analysis of 200 Second Opinion Visits

  • Eric D. West (a1)
Extract

The 1983 Mental Health Act made a requirement under Section 58 for a second opinion by an Appointed Doctor when a detained patient either did not understand the nature, purpose, and likely effects of a treatment or did not consent. The present study is confined to second opinions relating to ECT (electric convulsion therapy) and extended medication. It was noted in the Mental Health Act Commission's Biennial report that requests for second opinions varied in numbers between different hospitals and psychiatric units. In 200 personal visits by the author a Treatment Plan by the Responsible Medical Officer (RMO), which is an indication of good practice in the operation of the Act, was written in the case notes in only 66 cases (33%) and then most often by a junior doctor. This finding has been reported generally. It seemed appropriate, therefore, to explore the opinions of Consultant Psychiatrists on the legal requirement for second opinion.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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1 Mental Health Act Commission (1985) Biennial Report. London: HMSO.
2 Neave, H. R. (1981) Elementary Statistics Tables. London: George Allen & Unwin.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0140-0789
  • EISSN: 2514-9954
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Second Opinions for ECT and Extended Medication—Mental Health Act 1983: Attitudes of Consultant Psychiatrists and Analysis of 200 Second Opinion Visits

  • Eric D. West (a1)
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