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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A critical guide to the MHA for medical and legal professionals, 24 Mar 2009
By 
Phillip Taylor (Richmond Upon Thames, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mental Health Act Manual (Paperback)
In this new 11th edition, Richard Jones explains the impact of the Mental Health Act 2007 on the 1983 Act. Information is provided on the new Regulations and Rules that have arisen from the Mental Health Act 2007, providing all the professional needs to know about implementing and advising on mental health law.

With unrivalled annotation by Jones, this is an essential tool for any professional working in this field.

Unlike the legislation itself, which, in Jones's view expressed in the preface, is complex and `challenging', the book is designed to be accessible both to the medical and legal professions and is written in as straightforward a style as is practical considering the gravity of the subject matter.

Interestingly, the author refers to the fact that `the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) is amended by the 2007 Act `to provide for a procedure that can be used to authorise the deprivation of liberty of a mentally incapacitated person'. He criticises the legislation on a number of grounds, among them, length, complexity and poor drafting.

Furthermore, the relationship between the MHA and the MCA, in his opinion, is far from clear, the reason being that the two Acts `had different sponsoring Government Departments and pursue different policy agendas; one being capacity-based and the other focusing on risk.' `By legislating for parallel legislative regimes,' he continues, `Parliament has created a recipe for confusion which will inevitably result in a lack of consistent practice throughout England and Wales.'

Bearing these sobering thoughts in mind, it seems this legislation is in a parlous state and therefore it is reassuring that this volume provides so clear a guide to the Mental Health Act 1983 and explains the impact of the Mental Health Act 2007 on the 1983 Act by detailing how each section of the Act has been affected.

New provisions incorporated into the 1983 Act are fully covered, such as the replacement of the role of the responsible medical officer with that of the responsible clinician.

Note the new updates contained in the 11th edition, including:

* The abolition of the current four separate categories of mental disorder and the introduction of a single simplified definition of mental disorder that applies throughout the Act.
* The introduction of supervised treatment in the community which will be available for patients following an initial period of detention and treatment in hospital
* A requirement that appropriate medical treatment must be available if patients are to be subject to detention or to the new regime of supervised community treatment
* A requirement that those performing functions under the Act have regard to the new Code of Practiced published under s.118 of the Act which includes a statement of principles to inform decisions taken under the Act

Based on material available to the author as at July 1, 2008, this edition contains a Stop Press' note to the effect that the new Mental Health Act 1983 Approved Clinician (General) Directions 2008 will be reproduced in the Supplement to this work to be published in 2009 when the Codes of Practice are in place. Jones gives us here his critical guide with the clarity we need as professionals in this sensitive and difficult area of law.
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Mental Health Act Manual
Mental Health Act Manual by Richard Jones (Paperback - 18 Sep 2008)
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