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    Rights statement: This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Medical Law Review Thomas E Webb, Uninformed Reform: The Attempt to Abolish the Hospital Managers’ Section 23 Discharge Power Under the Mental Health Act 1983, Medical Law Review, Volume 27, Issue 1, Winter 2019, Pages 79–107, https://doi.org/10.1093/medlaw/fwy008 is available online at: https://academic.oup.com/medlaw/article/27/1/79/4980978

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Uninformed Reform: The Attempt to Abolish the Hospital Managers' Section 23 Discharge Power Under the Mental Health Act 1983

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/02/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Medical Law Review
Issue number1
Volume27
Number of pages29
Pages (from-to)79–107
Publication statusPublished
Early online date20/04/18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Under section 23 of the Mental Health Act 1983 a person can be discharged by the managers of the hospital from compulsory care. The limited evidence indicates that the section 23 power is normally delegated to a specially appointed panel who hold a hearing. Unfortunately, notwithstanding the implications for the liberty, autonomy, and dignity of the compelled person, very little is known about how this process operates. Nonetheless, since 1996 there has been a sustained effort to abolish the power. In view of this, the proposal to reform the 1983 Act contained in the Queen's Speech January 2017, and the subsequent establishment of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act in October 2017, I critique the claims made in the abolition debate, and establish the conceptual gaps therein. I argue that a much more developed understanding of the power is required before any change is made to the law in this area.

Bibliographic note

This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Medical Law Review Thomas E Webb, Uninformed Reform: The Attempt to Abolish the Hospital Managers’ Section 23 Discharge Power Under the Mental Health Act 1983, Medical Law Review, Volume 27, Issue 1, Winter 2019, Pages 79–107, https://doi.org/10.1093/medlaw/fwy008 is available online at: https://academic.oup.com/medlaw/article/27/1/79/4980978