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The law relating to mental capacity and mental health 

The law relating to mental capacity and mental health
Chapter:
The law relating to mental capacity and mental health
Author(s):

Kay Wheat

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199644957.003.0063
Page of

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date: 22 November 2017

This chapter will examine two key areas of law relating to medical treatment and care of those with mental disorder. The question of decision-making capacity is important for health care professionals, and other carers and agents dealing with older people. The law relating to this is covered by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 supplemented by previous case law where this is still relevant, and the key aspect of the law is the ability to treat people without capacity in their best interests. However, in the case of some patients, it may be necessary to use the Mental Health Act 1983. This legislation is focussed, not on the capacity of the patient, but upon the effect that a mental disorder can have upon the patient risking damage to their own well-being, or to the well-being of others. The relationship between the two areas is not always clear.

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