This assignment will consider the conflicting

This assignment will see the conflicting constructs of paternalism and liberty in relation to mental wellness jurisprudence. It will see the two viing involvements in mental wellness jurisprudence and see how there are settled, in relation peculiarly to issues of consent.

The words “autonomy” and “autonomous” are used in regard of a capacity, a status and a right.

Hire a custom writer who has experience.
It's time for you to submit amazing papers!

order now

“To be independent, as the word implies, is to be self-governed or autonomous or self –determining in the behavior of one’s life ; that is the status. “Autonomy” is used of the capacity to be autonomous in the behavior of one’s life. “Respect for autonomy” involves respect at least for this capacity. “A right to autonomy” must be a right to at least some exercising of the capacity for self –direction in one’s life. But what exercising of the capacity? The reply we give to the inquiry must certainly depend on the apprehension we have of the value of autonomy” [ 1 ] . Autonomy can besides be said to be tantamount to the right to self-government, although the right to self-government could non be relied upon to enforce responsibilities on others to supply medical-treatment.

It is said that, the averment to the right to independent medical decision-making is overriding and that the lone justification for enforcing medical intervention on a patient against his will is to forestall injury to others. [ 2 ] Further, it is argued that unwellness is a value-laden construct and any signifier of paternalism runs the hazard of physicians branding patients with “illness” and subsequent intervention. [ 3 ] It is non hard to see how this rule can use to mental unwellness

The growing of the liberty rule can be seen with mention to the philosophy of informed consent. Prior to 1960 the liberty rule was in pattern frequently honored in the breach and non the observation. While the patients in rule could make up one’s mind to accept or decline intervention, physicians were under no expressed responsibility to pass on to patients the pros and cons associated with assorted options that were unfastened to them. In many instances, the dominant pattern was for doctors to urge and patients to follow the recommendations, without even inquiring why. The principle being that keep backing of information was for the benefit of patients who might be excessively hard-pressed to treat it right.

The trouble of this rule is its application to euthanasia and suicide, .i.e. should this rule be respected when the state of affairs is one of life and decease. As has been discussed, in the chief any patient can make up one’s mind to decline intervention, even if inactivity promises a certain decease, or to accept intervention, even if it increases both the opportunity of decease ( if it should neglect ) and the quality of life ( if it should win ) . This begs the inquiry that if a patient is allowed to increase the hazard of decease in taking a opportunity for a better life, why ca n’t he take decease itself, by whatever agencies he desires? Although the right to self-government here is in struggle with the rule of public-service corporation because the effects of such a refusal may be bad for the household left behind: .i.e. the loss of a breadwinner or the imposition of heartache.

The rule of liberty has been really late considered by the tribunal in the oft-cited DianePretty Case[ 4 ] . When the instance came to the European Court of Human Rights and the Strasburg Judge noted that:

“It is under Article 8 that impressions of the quality of life take on significance. In an epoch of turning medical edification combined with longer life anticipations, many people are concerned that they should non be forced to linger on in old age or in provinces of advanced physical or mental dilapidation which struggle with strongly held thoughts of ego and personal identity.”

The ground why we ought to esteem her pick is the same ground that makes us esteem the pick of able-bodied individuals to perpetrate self-destruction: non that it is the right pick, but that it is her pick. [ 5 ]

The tribunal in Malette v Shulman [ 6 ] recognized that the rule of liberty did be: “The provinces involvement in continuing the life or wellness of a competent patient must by and large give manner to the patient’s stronger involvement in directing the class of his ain life” [ 7 ]

To understand why consent is required is to understand a cardinal human right. It must be recognised that every human being “however immature or mentally impaired, possesses a cardinal worth and self-respect which are non lost every bit long as he or she is alive. Contrary to the position of some, human worth and self-respect do non depend on geting and retaining some peculiar degree of rational ability or capacity for pick or for communication” [ 8 ] . Thus the ethical rule that every individual has a right to self-government and is entitled to hold their liberty respected finds its look in jurisprudence through the impression of consent. [ 9 ]

More practically, a successful relationship between a medical practician and his patients depend on trust. Such trust can merely be established if the practician respects the patient’s liberty, .i.e. their right to make up one’s mind whether or non to undergo some medical intercession, even if the patients’ refusal may ensue in some injury or in utmost instances their decease. Patients, of class must be appraised with sufficient information, in a manner that they can understand, to let them to implement their right to do an informed determination. [ 10 ]

Lord Donaldson has pointed out the two distinctively different functions that consent maps in the physician –patient relationship [ 11 ] . The first, he calls the legal, which is to supply a legal justification for attention, without such consent the medical practician would go apt to perpetrate a offense or a civil wrong. The 2nd facet which Lord Donaldson calls clinical is to procure the patients trust and co-operation.

It was stated by Lord Donaldson MR [ 12 ] “ [ vitamin E ] really grownup is presumed to hold capacity [ to accept ] , but it is a given which can be rebutted”

All individuals over the age of 16 are presumed competent to accept to medical intervention. This applies non simply to the populace at big but besides, specifically to those in psychiatric installations. [ 13 ] A fortiori, the given must besides be for those with psychiatric troubles populating in the community.

If this given is non rebutted, so intervention may non be given to an grownup unless he has consented. Such patients are allowed to decline intervention even if “their grounds for the refusal were rational or irrational, unknown or non-existent” [ 14 ] . “Adult” for these intents means an person who is over the age of 18. Persons between the ages of 16 and 18 old ages may be treated notwithstanding their active expostulation through consent of a tutelary parent, or by leave of the tribunal.

The chief exclusion to this regulation concerns itself with intervention under the Mental Health Act 1983, in peculiar under US Secret Service 63 and 58.

Section 63 of the act states that:

“The consent of a patient shall non be required for any medical intervention given to him for the mental upset from which he is enduring, non being intervention falling within ss57 and 58 above, if the intervention is given by or under the way of the responsible medical officer.”

The deduction here, is of class, that intervention for all over intents will be covered by the common jurisprudence. Although every bit will be seen that reading of what constitutes the medical intervention for the mental upset from which the patient is enduring has been given a broad reading by the tribunals. The act defines intervention so as to include nursing and besides includes attention, habilltation, and rehabilitation under medical supervising [ 15 ] . The act does non supply any counsel on how this should associate to the mental upset from which the patient is enduring. The tribunal has interpreted this so as to allow a broad scope of Acts of the Apostless that are accessory to the nucleus intervention. This can be seen in B v Croydon Health Authority [ 16 ] where the claimant, who was enduring from a psychopathologic upset merely treatable by psychoanalytical psychotherapeutics, applied for an injunction to forestall the wellness authorization from force eating here, was refused such an injunction. The Court of Appeal held that by ground of s63, her consent was non required. It was accepted that, because of the “treatabillity” demand in s3, it would non hold been lawful to confine her unless her status was treatable. However, it was held that it did non follow that every act which formed portion of intervention as defined by s145 ( 1 ) must, in itself, be probably to relieve or forestall a impairment of the upset. Thus the nasogastric eating would organize portion of concurrent attention.

It is slightly distressing, that the tribunal, has widened the scope of non-consensual intervention, particularly when we consider the scope besides given by the common jurisprudence justification, this raises the inquiry as to whether or non there truly exists a given of capacity. Even if it is in being, it appears the tribunal are prepared to widen the scope of non-consensual intervention, in fortunes where it sees fit, and it is hard to pull any wide guidelines from the caselaw. The instance has been followed and alarmingly it was held that the public presentation of a cesarean subdivision was intervention for mental upset under s63 [ 17 ]

The tribunal held in St Georges Healthcare NHS Trust V S [ 18 ] that s63 can non be used to coerce upon patients medical processs that are wholly unconnected with mental upsets. It is nevertheless, difficult to accommodate this instance with Tameside and Glossop, it is hard to find where 1 might pull the boundary. Particularly when we consider that in St Georges Healthcare it was said that s63 may use to any intervention of any status which is built-in to the mental upset therefore non overturning the Tameside instance.

Section 57 of the 1983 act covers the most drastic signifiers of intervention for mental upset. It covers psychosurgery and any other signifier of intervention specified by the Secretary of State. The present jurisprudence merely allows for the surgical nidation of endocrines for the intents of cut downing the male sex thrust. [ 19 ]

Finally Section 58 specifies intervention which requires consent or a 2nd sentiment. The intervention covered by s58 is electro-convulsive therapy and medical specialties administered for a period transcending three months. This subdivision does little to protect the patient’s rights to decline intervention ; it simply adds a precaution by necessitating that, in so far as the patient refuses, two physicians must urge a tribunal of intervention instead than one.

It has been said that by the mere fact of going a patient, an person will lose some liberty [ 20 ] . A Patient will necessitate to unwrap personal inside informations to an effectual diagnosing and will hold to trust on the opinion and advice of the physician on the best class of intervention. It would look that this consent is given freely, nevertheless the option of refusal closes the door to intervention. Consent will legalize what would be improper behavior, a patient has the right to make with his organic structure as he or she thinks tantrum.

If we bear this in head so see the patient who, for whatever ground, in unable to do determination fondness their lives, including those determinations refering medical intervention. This deficiency of competency can be transeunt or lasting. The hard inquiry to reference is where the jurisprudence draw the competency line. The jurisprudence would be lacking if it did non recognize that there were members of society who may be unqualified to measure whether or non to accept to medical intervention. Therefore this once more raises statements over whether paternalism or liberty should be preferred and so how the viing involvements should be balanced in the country of mental wellness jurisprudence and so whether or non there is a right or incorrect reply. However as it has been said “It must be recognised that every human being “however immature or mentally impaired, possesses a cardinal worth and self-respect which are non lost every bit long as he or she is alive. Contrary to the position of some, human worth and self-respect do non depend on geting and retaining some peculiar degree of rational ability or capacity for pick or for communication” [ 21 ] .



Mental Health Act 1983


B V Croydon Health Authority 1994 ] 2 WLR 294

Malette V Shulman [ 1990 ] 67 DLR ( 4Thursday) 321

RE C ( Adult: Refusal of Treatment ) [ 1994 ] 1 ALL ER 919

Re T ( grownup: Refusal of Treatment [ 1992 ] 4 ALL ER 649

R. ( Pretty ) v. DPP, [ 2001 ] UKHL 61, [ 2001 ] 3 W.L.R. 1598

Sidway V Bethlem RHG [ 1985 ] 1 ALL ER 643

St Georges Healthcare NHS Trust V S [ 1999 ] Fam 26

Tameside Acute Services Trust V CH [ 1996 ] 1 FLR 762and Glossop

Journal Articles

ANTJE PEDAIN “ The Human Rights Dimension of the Diane Pretty Case ” , March 2003


Grubb A, ( 1993 ) , Choices and Decisions in Health Care, ( Ed’s ) , Butterworths

Grubb A and Kennedy I ( 1998 ) Principles of medical jurisprudence. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Grubb Andrew and Kennedy Ian ( 2000 ) , Medical Law, 3rdEdition, Butterworths

Heginbotham, C. and Elson, T. ( 1999 ) ‘Public policy via jurisprudence: Practitioner’s

Sword and politician’s shield’ , in N. Eastman and J. Peay ( explosive detection systems ) Law Without

Enforcement: Integrating Mental Health and Justice, Oxford: Hart.

Jones R, ( 2003 ) Mental Health Act Manual, Sweet and Maxwell, 8ThursdayEdition

Mason J K, MaCall Smith R A, Laurie G T, ( 1999 ) , Law and Medical Ethics, 5ThursdayEdition, Butterworths

Montgomery J, ( 2003 ) , Health Care Law, 2neodymiumEdition, Oxford University Press

Stauch M, Wheat K, Tingle J, ( 2002 ) , Sourcebook on Medical Law, 2md Edition, Cavendish Publication



About the author : admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.