New law to
protect most vulnerable mentally ill comes into force
by staff reporter
law designed to protect the most vulnerable mentally ill people
came into force on Monday.
The Mental Capacity Act sets out how decisions should be made when
people – including those diagnosed with severe mental health
illness – are judged to lack ability to make a decision.
The law ushers in measures for patient-nominated people to make
substitute decisions. Such decisions might relate to financial,
residential and healthcare issues.
Advance directives, which record the wishes of people on their care
and treatment while they have capacity and to be used if they lose
capacity, now have legal status.
directives will not, however, apply to treatment given to patients
sectioned under the Mental Health Act
An Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy service will provide advocates
to represent the most vulnerable people in major welfare decisions.
Chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, Paul Farmer,
said: "This act gives people with mental health problems more
control over their lives, so that they can choose how they are treated
if they are unable to make decisions in the future.
"It allows them to choose trusted loved ones to make decisions
in their best interests, and empowers them to make choices from
dealing with their finances to their day-to-day care.
"Advocacy services will give a voice to some of the most isolated
people. Most importantly, it gives people the legal backing to ensure
their rights are protected."
Mind information on “how
the mental capacity act will work"
those not giving consent to anyone?
Bosco Mayinja, clinical charge nurse, Lambeth Hospital, London
December 5, 2007
Farmer, said: "This act gives people with mental health problems
more control over their lives, so that they can choose how they
are treated if they are unable to make decisions in the future."
about clients who fail to give consent to any one including relatives
to take care of their lives?
Rob Marcus, Service User and a Service Transformation Agent, Cambridge
and Peterborough Mental Health Trust.
January 9, 2008
Responding to John Mayinja; By the term "fail to give consent"
are you referring to those who are already too ill to make the decision,
or those who refuse to do so?
would say that, in the former case, the practitioner follows the
standard guidelines and involves all of those who would normally
become involved. In the latter case, respect the choice of the service
user not to involve those who they don't want involved.
do you think? Email your comments on the above
article to the editor using the form below. Selected comments will
© 2001-7 Psychminded Limited. All
about this article