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

Webb, Thomas Edward (2019) Uninformed Reform:The Attempt to Abolish the Hospital Managers' Section 23 Discharge Power Under the Mental Health Act 1983. Medical Law Review, 27 (1). 79–107. ISSN 0967-0742

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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.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Medical Law Review
Additional Information:
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
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2701
Subjects:
ID Code:
123762
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
23 Feb 2018 14:30
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
03 Dec 2020 04:14