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Competency and use of the Mental Health Act – a matrix to aid decision-making

  • Jacinta Tan (a1) and Martin Elphick (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

Competence in patients with mental illness is an issue of growing importance. We present a matrix that provides a new tool to separate the elements involved.

Results

This matrix is compatible with, and makes explicit, the Richardson Committee's suggestions concerning the incorporation of a test of capacity in Mental Health Act assessments.

Clinical Implications

We suggest that use of this matrix may offer practical help to clinicians in arriving at a clear understanding of each clinical situation and guide good practice in the use of the Mental Health Act, particularly in problematic cases.

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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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British Medical Association (1995) Assessment of Mental Capacity: Guidance for Doctors and Lawyers. London: BMA.
Department of Health (1999a) Review of the Mental Health Act 1983: Draft Outline Proposals by Scoping Study Committee. London: Stationery Office.
Department of Health (1999b) Reform of the Mental Health Act 1983: Proposals for Consultation. Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Health by Command of Her Majesty. Cm 4480. London: Stationery Office.
Department of Health (2000) Reforming the Mental Health Act. Part 1. The New Legal Framework. Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Health and the Home Secretary by Command of Her Majesty. Cm 5016-1. London: Department of Health.
Grisso, T. & Appelbaum, P. S. (1998) Assessing Competence to Consent to Treatment: A Guide for Physicians and other Health Professionals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
L v. Bournewood Community and Mental Health NHS Trust (1997) TLR 8/12/97.
ReC(Adult: Refusal of Medical Treatment) (1994)1 All ER 819.
Ret (By His Next Friend GE) (1998) TLR 25/6/98.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Competency and use of the Mental Health Act – a matrix to aid decision-making

  • Jacinta Tan (a1) and Martin Elphick (a2)
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