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School of Law

SOLM104 Mental Health Law: Capacity to Consent and Best Interests

Module Description

This module will analyse the Mental Capacity Act (MCA), the legislation that provides the framework in England and Wales for assessing capacity and making decisions on behalf of those who lack capacity to decide, and its application in the context of medical and social care.

This module is recommended for those interested in issues of consent in health and social care. The question that will guide this module is whether the law in England and Wales strikes a good balance between respecting the autonomy of individuals and protecting their welfare. It will also discuss the compatibility between the MCA and human rights law (in particular, the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Covention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities). Therefore, even though this course will focus on England and Wales, students interested in comparative and human rights approaches to mental health and the law are strongly encouraged to apply.

The cases that students will discuss in this module include, for instance, the force-feeding of anorexia  patients, the withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration from people in a minimally conscious state, deprivation of liberty in hospitals and care homes, and the reproductive choices of people with learning disabilities.

Applicable Groupings


30 Credits

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