A Clinician’s Brief Guide to Children’s Mental Health Law

The law affecting treatment decisions in mental healthcare for children and young people under 18 years of age is complex. As a result, clinicians are often uncertain about what can and cannot be done to look after young people’s mental disorders and safeguard their rights.

This book is a practical guide for clinicians working with children and adolescents and it examines the rather peculiar relationship between a young person with a mental disorder and the law, as mediated by family, community and doctors. It will help clinicians to make sense of the various legal frameworks and professional guidelines concerning children’s mental health legislation.

The book covers the relevant aspects of the Human Rights Act 1998, the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the Mental Health Act as amended in 2007 and the Children Act 1989 as amended in 2004. It draws on many examples from case law, and includes a foreword by the President of the Family Division, and Head of Family Justice, Sir James Munby.

A basic understanding of law as applied to the mental health of children and young people is increasingly required by all doctors, and this book will be invaluable to all mental health professionals, GPs and paediatricians, in addition to lawyers, social workers, and anyone involved in research or policy in this area.

Readership: All healthcare professionals who work with children.

Which jurisdictions are covered?
Chapters on and mentions of the MHA and MCA naturally mean this book is weighted towards England and Wales. However, it notes where and how key points of these Acts differ from legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It also discusses other legislation and case law that are relevant to all four countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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