A New 'New' Mental Health Act? Reflections on the Paoposed Amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983
Clinical Ethics 2007 March; 2(1): 28-31
Since 1998, several attempts have been made to reform the existing mental health legislation - the Mental Health Act 1983. However, all efforts thus far have been resoundingly rejected by mental health charities, psychiatrists and related professions. Following the Government's decision to abandon the draft Mental Health Bill in March 2006, plans to introduce new legislation designed to amend the existing 1983 Act have been published. This shorter bill was introduced before Parliament in November 2006. The amendments focused on six key policy areas including supervised community treatment, the nearest relative, the definition of mental disorder and detention criteria. It is also intended that the Mental Capacity Act 2005 will be amended to bridge the present 'Bournewood' gap.