Admission for Assessment under Sections 2 and 4 of the Mental Health Act 1983

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    Abstract

    There are two types of involuntary admission to hospital for assessment under the Mental Health Acts – admission for ordinary assessment and admission for assessment in an emergency. Loosely speaking, assessment may be said to be a kind of psychiatric evaluation; but it is distinct from treatment. Although the issues arising from involuntary admission for assessment have been considered in various secondary sources, largely missing from the literature are: a comparison of sections 2 and 4 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (governing admission for ordinary assessment and admission for assessment in an emergency, respectively); consideration of the problems relating to the transition of a patient’s admission from section 2 to section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983; and suggestions to address those problems. This article aims to fill that gap. It looks at, first, the evolution of admission for assessment; secondly, the present position (including a comparison of sections 2 and 4 of the Mental Health Act 1983); thirdly, certain problems concerning section 2; and, lastly, proposals for reform of the law.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1
    Pages (from-to)5-21
    Number of pages17
    JournalMountbatten Journal of Legal Studies
    Volume22
    Issue number1 and 2
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

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