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Is psychiatry torn in different ethical directions?

  • Peter Lepping (a1)
Summary

Psychiatry is the only specialty that uses legislation which is torn between utilitarian and rights-focused approaches. Although on the one hand this improves the opportunity for good outcome, on the other it reduces autonomous decision-making. Because psychiatry is the only medical speciality in this situation, this may cause stigmatisation and an inappropriate expectation on psychiatry to fulfil some kind of social policing role.

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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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Beauchamp, T. & Childress, J. (2001) Principles of Biomedical Ethics (5th edn). Oxford University Press.
Department of Health (2007a) Mental Health Act 2007. Department of Health (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2007/ukpga_20070012_en_1).
Department of Health (2007b) Mental Capacity Act 2005 (England and Wales). Department of Health (http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Policyandguidance/SocialCare/Deliveringadultsocialcare/MentalCapacity/MentalCapacityAct2005/DH_064735).
House of Commons (1998) Human Rights Act (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/ukpga_19980042_en_1).
House of Commons (2005) Mental Capacity Act (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2005/pdf/ukpga_20050009_en.pdf).
House of Commons (2007) Mental Health Bill (Bill 76) (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2007/pdf/ukpga_20070012_en.pdf).
Lepping, P. (2007) Ethical analysis of the new proposed mental health legislation in England and Wales. Philosophy, Ethics and Humanities in Medicine, 2, 5.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (2007) Mental Health Bill Newsletter. Royal College of Psychiatrists (http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pressparliament/aboutourparliamentarywork/legislationandresponses/2007/mhbnewsletter0307.aspx)
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Is psychiatry torn in different ethical directions?

  • Peter Lepping (a1)
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