This website is intended for healthcare professionals

Richard Griffith

Senior Lecturer in Health Law, Swansea University

Insanity as a defence to a criminal charge

When a person with a mental disorder is prosecuted it is open to them to argue that they are not guilty by reason of insanity. This legal defence is available at common law to any criminal charge. For...

Consent and the requirement for accessible information

The law recognises that adults have a right to determine what will be done to their bodies (Re MB (Caesarean Section) [1997]). Touching a person without consent will amount to a civil trespass to the...

Nurses at risk of multiple jeopardy over allegations of unprofessional behaviour

Nurses' exposure to multiple jeopardy is founded on the multifaceted nature of the duty they owe to their patients and the nature of their accountability. Accountability underpins the professionalism,...

Leave of absence under the Mental Health Act 1983

‘Grant to any patient who is for the time being liable to be detained in a hospital under this Part of this Act leave to be absent from the hospital subject to such conditions (if any) as that...

Treatment as a whole approach to intervention without consent

‘The consent of a patient shall not be required for any medical treatment given to him for the mental disorder from which he is suffering, [not being a form of treatment to which safeguards apply],...

Determining death in cases of severe brain damage

There is no statutory definition of death (Grubb, et al, 2010). Generally the Triad of Bichat, which defines death as the failure of the body as an integrated system associated with the irreversible...

Consent, capacity and minors aged 16 and over

‘Every human being of adult years and sound mind has the right to determine what shall happen to their own body.’ .

The nurse's legal duty to safely delegate tasks and to follow up the outcome

‘… the process by which you (the delegator) allocate clinical or non-clinical care and support to a competent person (the delegatee). The delegator will remain responsible for the overall management...

Concerns over the use of consent to remove a baby into local authority care

The Children Act 1989, section 20 concerns the duty of a local authority to provide accommodation for children in need. It contains no compulsory provisions and no compulsory curtailment of parental...

Disputes about a person's best interests: Is there a need to go to court?

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 does not define a best interest. Instead, it sets out a checklist of factors that have to be taken into account when determining the best interests of a person who lacks...

The health professional's duty to warn of preconception risks

‘… whether, in the circumstances, a reasonable person in the patient's position would be likely to attach significance to the risk, or the [nurse] was or should reasonably be aware that the...

Causing or inciting sexual activity with persons who have a mental disorder

‘For the purposes of this Part, a person consents if he agrees by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice.’ .

Questioning the validity of an advanced decision to refuse treatment

The Law Commission (1995) defined an advance decision refusing treatment as:.

The right to respect for family life, consent, minors and Gillick competence

The United Nations Convention on Children's Rights defines a minor as any person under the age of 18 years. It requires that childhood is recognised as a developmental period and that our domestic...

Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and assisted dying

Article 8 of the ECHR is an example of a qualified human right. It begins by asserting in Article 8(1) that:.

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