April 2019 update

This page is automatically generated: it will only be complete at the end of the month. All monthly updates are available here: Archive of monthly updates.

Website

  • Magic Book. The Magic Book is a database of contact details. The main idea is to add the hospitals and other places you visit (not just your own place of work). To create/edit contacts, there is no need to log in and the process is very quick and simple. See Magic Book
  • Mental Health Law Online CPD scheme: 12 points for £60. Obtain 12 CPD points online by answering monthly questionnaires. The scheme is an ideal way to obtain your necessary hours, or to evidence your continued competence. It also helps to support the continued development of this website, and your subscriptions (and re-subscriptions) are appreciated. For full details and to subscribe, see CPD scheme.
  • Cases. By the end of this month, Mental Health Law Online contained 1973 categorised cases

Cases

  • Case (Withdrawal of CANH; advance decision). NHS Cumbria CCG v Rushton [2018] EWCOP 41 — "This is an application regarding the proposed withdrawal of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration in respect of Mrs Jillian Rushton, who is now 85 years of age. Since sustaining a traumatic head injury in December 2015, Mrs Rushton has suffered from a prolonged period of disorder of consciousness. Insofar as a label is relevant, the consensus of medical opinion, in respect of which there is no dissent at all, is that she is in a persistent vegetative state (PVS). In their recent guidance, ‘Clinically-assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH) and adults who lack the capacity to consent’, the Royal College of Physicians and the British Medical Association have noted that the importance of obtaining a precise and definitive diagnosis has reduced. It is recognised by the Courts and clinicians that drawing a firm distinction between vegetative state and minimally conscious state is frequently both artificial and unnecessary. In practice, when assessing best interests, information about the patient’s current condition and prognosis for functional recovery and the level of confidence with which these can be evaluated is invariably of greater importance than a precise diagnosis. ... It perhaps requires to be said, though in my view it should be regarded as axiomatic, that the medical profession must give these advanced decisions the utmost care, attention and scrutiny. I am confident the profession does but I regret to say that I do not think sufficient care and scrutiny took place here. The lesson is an obvious one and needs no amplification. Where advanced decisions have been drawn up and placed with GP records there is an onerous burden on the GP to ensure, wherever possible, that they are made available to clinicians in hospital. By this I mean a copy of the decision should be made available and placed within the hospital records with the objective that the document should follow the patient. It need hardly be said that it will rarely, if ever, be sufficient to summarise an advance decision in a telephone conversation. ... The family have ... made it clear to me that she would not have regarded her present situation as tolerable. Whilst I have no doubt that she would understand the commitment of her son, Tim and his profound resistance to letting her go, I have equally no doubt that she would want to be let go and I have no hesitation in concluding that it is my responsibility to respect this."

Resources

  • Advance decision-making. Gareth Owen et al, 'Advance decision-making in mental health - suggestions for legal reform in England and Wales' (2019) 64 Intl JL & Psychiatry 162 — Publisher's abstract: "This paper argues that existing English and Welsh mental health legislation (The Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA)) should be changed to make provision for advance decision-making (ADM) within statute and makes detailed recommendations as to what should constitute this statutory provision. The recommendations seek to enable a culture change in relation to written statements made with capacity such that they are developed within mental health services and involve joint working on mental health requests as well as potential refusals. In formulating our recommendations, we consider the historical background of ADM, similarities and differences between physical and mental health, a taxonomy of ADM, the evidence base for mental health ADM, the ethics of ADM, the necessity for statutory ADM and the possibility of capacity based ‘fusion’ law on ADM. It is argued that the introduction of mental health ADM into the MHA will provide clarity within what has become a confusing area and will enable and promote the development and realisation of ADM as a form of self-determination. The paper originated as a report commissioned by, and submitted to, the UK Government’s 2018 Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983."
  • Mental health sentencing consultation. Sentencing Council, 'Overarching Principles: Sentencing Offenders with Mental Health Conditions or Disorders: Consultation' (9/4/19) — Extract from introduction: "The Council has developed a draft guideline for courts to use when sentencing offenders with mental health conditions, neurological impairments or development disorders. The aim of the guideline is to consolidate and explain information which will assist courts to pass appropriate sentences when dealing with offenders who have either a mental health condition or disorder, neurological impairment or developmental disorder, and to promote consistency of approach in sentencing. "

Consultations

Twitter

Error: no data!