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B v Croydon Health Authority. 1995;

Herczegfalvy v Austria. 1993;

JK v A local health board. 2019;

Re MB (Caesarean Section). 1997;

St George's Healthcare NHS Trust v S. 1998;

Tameside & Glossop Acute Services NHS Trust v CH. 1996;

Treatment as a whole approach to intervention without consent

07 July 2022
Volume 31 · Issue 13


Richard Griffith, Senior Lecturer in Health Law at Swansea University, discusses this provision under the Mental Health Act 1983, to include physical disorders that are increasingly remote from the person's mental disorder

The Mental Health Act 1983, part 4, sets out provisions and safeguards for the compulsory treatment of patients detained under the Act. At the centre of these provisions is section 63, which gives approved clinicians the authority to direct that treatment for mental disorders can be given without consent. The section states:

‘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], if the treatment is given by or under the direction of the approved clinician in charge of the treatment.’

Mental Health Act 1983, section 63

The aim of the section was to allow for the non-contentious treatments for mental disorder to be given without consent, with safeguards in place to protect patients requiring more controversial interventions such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), psychosurgery and the prolonged use of mental health medication (Mental Health Act 1983, sections 57, 58 and 58A).

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