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Compulsory Treatment Under MHA

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http://psychiatry.multiply.com/journal/item/11

Compulsory Treatment Under MHA

Question:

Critically evaluate the ethical issues underlying compulsory psychiatric treatment. Discuss these issues in the context of the Mental Capacity particularly with in regard

to elderly people and clients suffering from learning disability.

DISCUSSION:

Psychiatry is unique among all other specialities that it involves compulsory treatment. Other areas in which sometimes compulsory treatment can be provided are infectious diseases. In this regard it is very important to keep in mind all the ethical issues related to this. In Mechanic's words (1989), Psychiatric Practice is as much a moral as a medical endeavour.

Let us have a look at historical aspects of compulsory treatment.

In 1959, Mental Health Act was introduced and it was more concentrated towards admission

than treatment.

In 1983 Mental Health Act added treatment to its dimensions.

Thus the act was intially punitive, then it became segregating and then therapeutic. It is important to know about past abuses of psychiatry among which important are Nazi (Germany), Soviet Union and the anti-psychiatry movement.

The question then arises that why we need a mental health act. The human rights act 1998 from European Charter on human right came into foce in 2000.

The decision of detaining someone under mental health act should be based on the following 4 principles.

1. Respect for Autonomy

2. Non-maleficence

3. Beneficence

4. Justice

Sometimes if a person is at risk of harm to others or self or there may be a severe risk of neglegence of self and others.

In those cases it is important for the safety of the person himself and other people and in the very best interest of the person to detain him against his will considering the above 4 principles.

On the other hand people may argue that it does not respect a person's autonomy and rights to freedom and has a potential of harm in itself. However it is agreed by the most of the people that if a person lacks the capacity to consent , may be treated against his will. These groups include elederly patients with dementia and people suffering from moderate to severe learning disability.

It is important to consider bothe mental health act and mental capacity legislation before treating an individual.

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Hello Kamran

I was away for a while.Nice to see u in part-2 section.Just wanted to congratulate u on your success in part-1. :)

cheers

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DISCUSSION:

Psychiatry is unique among all other specialities that it involves compulsory treatment. Other areas in which sometimes compulsory treatment can be provided are infectious diseases.

Not a great start to the essay - you begin by contradicting yourself.

Also, infectious diseases is one area. Your sentence implies you were about to give more than one area.

Sorry for nit picking. But I think they are interested in style as well as content.

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