Legal aspects of mental hospital regime in England and Wales

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Abstract

Although there are several works on mental hospitals, the legal aspects of mental hospital regime have not been comprehensively studied. This paper aims to fill that gap as regards England and Wales.

The empirical study was conducted in a conventional English mental hospital which was within the National Health Service. After the introduction and a brief account of modes of admission to mental hospitals, the paper focuses on various aspects of mental hospital regime such as hospital rules and policies, daily routine, treatment without consent, seclusion, close observation, searches of patients and their property, restrictions on mail, etc., and then discusses the question of their legality, characterised by the tussle between the rights of patients and the rights of society. The paper concludes that although the regimes in mental hospitals may be considered reasonable and necessary, certain features of them (e.g., treatment without consent and searches of patients and their property) are controversial.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-26
Number of pages13
JournalMedicine Science and the Law
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

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