The Mental Health Act (MHA) creates the legal framework in England and Wales for the compulsory detention and treatment of patients suffering from a mental disorder in a psychiatric hospital. This course will discuss the legal requirements for authorizing compulsory detention and treatment, the safeguards to protect them against arbitrary and unnecessary hospitalization, and the alternatives to hospitalization. The MHA can be used to legally detain and treat people without their consent, even when have the capacity to consent and object to detention and treatment. The question that will guide this module is whether this exception to the principle of autonomy in the context of health care is compliant with human rights law (in particular, the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Covention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities). 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. Students interested in applying for this course are recommended, although not required, to take "Mental Health Law: Capacity to Consent and Best Interests".
3,000-4,000 word essay