Does Mental Health Treatment Infringe Human Rights?

Topics: Human rights, European Convention on Human Rights, Rights Pages: 2 (439 words) Published: March 30, 2012
According to Nagaraja D, 2008 an individual suffering from mental illness is entitled with the same dignity and respectable behaviour as any other human being. Just because a person is mentally ill does not make him worthless. A mentally ill persons rights flow from the basic right to life as in Article 21 of the constitution which includes right to living accomodation , food water medical treatment education, acceptable livelihood, income and compatible life, right to privacy, speedy trial, information and means of communication.The human rights Act states that every law must be defined to match the human right in the European Convention which include the UK Mental Health Act 1983 which permits the detention and compulsory treatment of mentally ill people. The UK court made an request in 2001 that the treatment clashed with the human right to liberty and the law was amended. At present the liability lies with the hospital to prove an individual with mental illness should stay in detention and if they fail to do so then the onus is passed on to the Mental Health Tribunal to release the patient. People with mental health are considered to be vulnerable and most likely not to be able decisions for themselves about their treatments. In most cases these treatments will be perfomed without their consent; however how does it work where it work when the person lacks the mental capacity required to make decisions and as a result unable to give consent. The Mental Capacity Act, 2005 contain the law which affect individuals who lack the mental capacity needed . The M.C.A in some situations permit a decision to be taken by one person e.g relative ,friend, informal carer, a a doctor, social worker or a nurse on behalf of another and also also permits individuals to arrange ahead for an occassion where they might lose capacity. The right to to refuse treatment is not in place for those diagnosed with mental illness according to( Mental Capacity Act 2005).

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