Alliance policies: Conditions for compulsion

We believe that the conditions for compulsion set out in mental health legislation must include the following:

Mental health legislation should also retain decision-makers' discretion over whether to subject a patient to compulsion if they meet the conditions.

The Government is proposing to remove the treatability test in the current Mental Health Act for some section 3 patients and replace it with an appropriate treatment test for all section 3 patients. We are deeply concerned about the decision to drop the treatability test without replacing it with a suitable alternative.

The availability of appropriate treatment is too vague and contains no test of "therapeutic benefit" - that a person cannot be detained unless treatment is likely to alleviate or prevent deterioration of the personís illness.. The purpose of mental health legislation should not be to detain people with mental health problems for whom no beneficial treatment can be found, and where no health benefit may result.

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