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Two recent developments have served to highlight the contradictory and discriminatory nature of UK mental health legislation, and indeed all ‘mental health’ acts. These are the Court of Appeal ruling in L. v. Bournewood (1997) and the increasing use of coercion in an attempt to alleviate society's fears of the dangers posed by the mentally ill in the community (Holloway, 1996). At the same time, a third development, the proposal for a Mental Incapacity Act, and the consequent Government Green Paper (Lord Chancellor's Department, 1997) Who Decides provides a framework rendering mental health legislation redundant.
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