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Fusion of mental health and incapacity legislation

  • John Dawson (a1) and George Szmukler (a2)
Summary

The enactment of a single legislative scheme governing nonconsensual treatment of both ‘physical’ and ‘mental’ illnesses, based on incapacity principles, has been mooted in recent law reform debates in the UK. We propose a framework for such legislation and consider in more detail the provisions it should contain. The design of legislation that combines the strengths of both incapacity and civil commitment schemes can be readily imagined, based on the criteria for intervention in England and Wales found in the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Such legislation would reduce unjustified legal discrimination against mentally disordered persons and apply consistent ethical principles across medical law.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Professor John Dawson, Faculty of Law, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand. E-mail: john.dawson@stonebow.otago.ac.nz
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Declaration of interest

Funding detailed in Acknowledgement.

Footnotes
References
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Joint Committee on the Draft Mental Health Bill (2005) Report of the Joint Committee on the Draft Mental Health Bill. London: TSO (The Stationery Office).
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Fusion of mental health and incapacity legislation

  • John Dawson (a1) and George Szmukler (a2)
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