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Misapplication of mental impairment under the Mental Health Act 1983

  • Anjum Bashir (a1) and Sheila Tinto (a2)
Extract

As Professor Eastman (2000) has noted: the law is fond of ‘using’ psychiatry for its own ends at times, but the Mental Health Act 1983 is an example of psychiatrists using the law as a tool of public policy. This makes their education in and interpretation of it all the more vital. The MRCPsych part II module ‘Ethics and the Law’ requires candidates to demonstrate knowledge of relevant mental health and human rights legislation, and to illustrate the appropriate application of such information (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2001). We submit a masked case study that in practice seems to us a misinterpretation of the Act.

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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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American Psychiatric Association (2000) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edn, text revision) (DSM–IV–TR). Washington, DC: APA.
Department of Health (1999) Code of Practice Mental Health Act 1983, pp. 54, 64, 139. London: Stationery Office.
Eastman, N. (2000) Legal use of psychiatry and law as an instrument of psychiatric practice. In New Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry (eds Gelder, M., López-Ibor, J. & Andreasen, N.), p. 2098. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Jones, R. (2004) Mental Health Act Manual (9th edn), pp.16, 103. London: Sweet & Maxwell.
Mental Health Act Commission (2003) Placed among Strangers: Twenty Years of the Mental Health Act 1983 and Future Prospects for Psychiatric Compulsion, p. 77. London: Stationery Office.
National Health Service Health Advisory Service (1997) Heading for Better Care: Commissioning and Providing Mental Health Services for People with Huntington's Disease, acquired Brian Injury and Early Onset Dementia, p.109. London: Stationery Office.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (2001) Curriculum for Basic Specialist Training and the MRCPsych Examination (Council Report CR95), p.19. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.
World Health Organization (1980) International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps. Geneva: WHO.
World Health Organization (1992) The ICD–10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders. Geneva: WHO.
R v. Ashworth HSH, ex parte B [2005] UKHL 20.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
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Misapplication of mental impairment under the Mental Health Act 1983

  • Anjum Bashir (a1) and Sheila Tinto (a2)
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