Since the “Treatability Clause was removed from the Mental Health Act in 2007 and the phrase ” Appropriate treatment must be available” replaced it we have to consider what is “appropriate treatment”?
For example can detention alone be appropriate treatment?
In the case of R(Home Secretary) v MHRT (2004) this matter was ruled on.
It concerned a person alleged to have a psychopathic disorder. Both the medical team and the court felt that in the community he was extremely dangerous. The question was, was he treatable? He was deriving no benefit from treatment programmes. However, it was felt that he could cope in the structured hospital environment.
The Court held that this was enough. The Tribunal accepted that hospital could prevent deterioration by his continuing in custody. Having accepted that factual proposition it was bound to conclude that the condition was susceptible to treatment as it would prevent deterioration of the symptoms of mental disorder were he suffering from a mental disorder
What can we foresee as the implications of such a legal precedent? How will this type of detention impact on our wards? At what point can the detained person hope for discharge?If it is detention alone that prevents the worsening of a disorder will the person ever be fit for discharge?
I would love to hear your views on this case. If there is enough interest I will post another legal and ethical poser soon.