"Good mental health and resilience are fundamental to our physical health, our relationships, our education, our training, our work and to achieving our potential."
Mental health is an interesting and complicated aspect of medicine that has wide-reaching effects which are often unrealised or underestimated. The delicate topic of overriding refusal to treatment, even in those who are competent to make such a decision, necessitate added complexity in order to attempt to safeguard patients against those who may seek to abuse them.
Mental health acts attempt to address two different issues; the need to protect the patient him/herself and to protect the general public from the patient. It is evident that medical ethics has a large role to play in these situations as it is important to balance the four principles as suggested by Beauchamp and Childress (2001) of autonomy, beneficence, justice and non-maleficence. In this area of medicine where autonomy is often forcefully restricted it is important to consider these principles carefully in order to in order to reach a balanced decision.
- Beauchamp TL, Childress JF. Principles of Biomedical Ethics. 5th ed. Oxford University Press; 2001.
- Mental Health Act 1983 [statute on the internet]. 1983 [cited 2011 Feb 1].
- Mental Health Act 2007 [[statute on the internet]. 2007 [cited 2011 Feb 1].