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Chapter

Cover Medical Law and Ethics

5. Children and Medicine  

This chapter explores how the law deals with cases involving children receiving medical care. It considers the circumstances in which children have capacity to consent to treatment. It explores the case law in cases where there is disagreement between parents and children over health care. It also looks at difficult cases where parents and doctors disagree on how to treat very sick children. The way the courts interpret the best interests of the child are examined. The chapter also explores the ethical and legal issues around the vaccination of children. The broader issue of whether there should be limits on the rights of children and the extent to which parents can determine what is in the best interests of the child are examined.

Chapter

Cover Mental Health Law: Policy and Practice

1. Conceptualising Mental Health Law  

This chapter begins with brief descriptions of the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA) and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA), and then discusses who the insane; the complex relationship between mental illness and medicine; the statutory definition of mental disorder and the scope of the MHA; mental health care; and sources of mental health law.

Chapter

Cover JC Smith's The Law of Contract

21. Capacity  

This chapter discusses the issue of capacity. The general rule is that contracts are valid but unenforceable on minors (persons under 18 years of age). However, they are enforceable against adults, and a minor can ratify a contract upon attaining the age of majority so that the contract is enforceable against both parties. At common law, mental incapacity is not by itself a reason to set aside a contract. But if the other party knows, or ought to know, of the mental incapacity, then the contract can be set aside. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 makes it clear that a person who lacks capacity must still pay a reasonable price for necessary goods and services.

Chapter

Cover Koffman, Macdonald & Atkins' Law of Contract

22. Additional chapter: Capacity  

This chapter considers the scope of contractual capacity, noting the tension in the law between the need to protect someone who is incapacitated and the desire to not treat too harshly the person dealing fairly with the incapacitated person. The general rule is that a minor will not be bound by a contract, although the person contracting with them will be. There are exceptions which will bind both parties unless the minor repudiates, and on becoming 18 a minor may ratify a contract made before that date. The law recognizes the general incapacity to contract of minors, the mentally incapacitated, and in certain circumstances where an individual is intoxicated. An adult of sound mind has full contractual capacity, although they may be able to claim that the contract is not enforceable on some other basis, for example undue influence.

Chapter

Cover Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics

10. Mental Health Law  

A. M. Farrell and E. S. Dove

This chapter explores the law in relation to mental health, and the concepts and principles engaged in its justification and critique. It compares the statutory frameworks across the UK jurisdictions, focusing first on the involuntary treatment of mental health problems, the legal criteria for when these powers may be used, and limitations or safeguards placed on those powers. It then discusses the legal rules which allow decisions to be taken on behalf of adults found to lack capacity to make decisions for themselves, discussing recent trends in case law relating to capacity and best interests. This chapter also considers relevant human rights instruments and their impact on the legal framework, focusing on Article 5 ECHR (the right to liberty), its interpretation in UK law, the impact of the UK Supreme Court Cheshire West (2014) case, and the relationship between mental health law and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The chapter concludes by discussing current programmes of reform in the area.

Chapter

Cover Medical Law

5. Incapacity I: Adults  

This chapter considers the consent requirement and the principle of autonomy. It then discusses how the law treats patients who lack capacity, offering detailed analysis of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its application, including cases involving the withdrawal of life-prolonging treatment.

Chapter

Cover Medical Law and Ethics

4. Consent to Treatment  

This chapter examines the legal and ethical aspects of treating a patient without consent. It considers the meaning of ‘consent’ and the position of patients who lack the capacity to consent. For children who lack capacity, consent involves a delicate balance between the rights of the children and those of their parents. For adults lacking capacity, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 has emphasized the ‘best interests’ test, but has largely left open the question of how a person’s best interests are to be ascertained. The chapter also considers what weight should be attached to advance decisions (sometimes called living wills).

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

Bratty v Attorney-General for Northern Ireland [1963] AC 386, House of Lords  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Bratty v Attorney-General for Northern Ireland [1963] AC 386, House of Lords. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: Criminal Law

Bratty v Attorney-General for Northern Ireland [1963] AC 386, House of Lords  

Essential Cases: Criminal Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Bratty v Attorney-General for Northern Ireland [1963] AC 386, House of Lords. The document also included supporting commentary from author Jonathan Herring.

Chapter

Cover Mental Health Law: Policy and Practice

12. Legal Responses and Advocacy for Clients  

This chapter examines whether the law provides adequate mechanisms for those brought under the mental health system to ensure that they are dealt with consistently with the substantive and procedural rules provided by the law, and whether sufficient recompense is available in the event that the standards are not complied with. The discussions cover review tribunals; judicial review; civil and criminal actions; the Mental Health Act (MHA) 1983 and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards; criminal prosecutions; civil actions for damages; complaint processes; the appointment of advocates to help people governed by the MHA 1983 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005; and representing people with mental disabilities.

Chapter

Cover Mental Health Law: Policy and Practice

5. Deprivation of Liberty under the Mental Capacity Act 2005  

This chapter discusses amendments to the Mental Capacity Act (MCA 2005), introduced in the Mental Health Act 2007, which are generally known as the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS). It begins with an overview of the DOLS and then considers the triggering issue for the applicability of the DOLS, namely whether there is a deprivation of liberty. The chapter outlines the six requirements for application of the DOLS: (i) age requirement; (ii) mental health requirement; (iii) mental capacity requirement; (iv) best interests requirement; (v) no refusals requirement; and (vi) eligibility.

Chapter

Cover Medical Law Concentrate

3. Consent  

This chapter deals with consent as a necessary precondition for medical treatment of competent adults. It provides an overview of the common law basis of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, followed by discussion of issues relating to information disclosure, public policy, and the key case of Montgomery and how this applies to more recent cases. It considers the statutory provisions for adults who lack capacity, exceptions to the requirement to treat patients who lack capacity in their best interests, and consent involving children under the Children Act 1989. Gillick competence, a concept applied to determine whether a child may give consent, is also explained. Relevant case law, including Gillick, which gave rise to the concept, are cited where appropriate.

Book

Cover Medical Law and Ethics

Jonathan Herring

Medical Law and Ethics covers not only the core legal principles, key cases, and statutes that govern medical law, but also explores the key ethical debates and dilemmas that exist in the field to ensure that the law is firmly embedded within its context. The title highlights these debates, drawing angles from other jurisdictions, religious beliefs, and feminist perspectives which influence legal regulations. Other features such as ‘a shock to the system’, ‘public opinion’, and ‘reality check’ introduce further sociological aspects, contributing to the way in which the subject is approached. This new edition also includes a new chapter on the medical law governing children and discussion of the response to the COVID pandemic. It also discusses important developments in the case law governing the Mental Capacity Act, clinical negligence, abortion, and reproduction.

Chapter

Cover Criminology

14. Intelligence, mental disorder and crime  

This chapter presents the concept of mental disorder, in contrast to the possible physiological influences in criminal behaviour. The idea behind the concept is that the underlying causes are not physical in nature, but are due to the workings of the ‘mind’. The chapter begins with a consideration of whether differences in individuals’ cognitive capacity—or, as it is usually called, intelligence—can have any bearing on the likelihood of their acting in an antisocial manner. It also discusses the definition of ‘learning disability’, a legal classification defined as a state of arrested or incomplete development of the mind, which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning.

Chapter

Cover Borkowski's Law of Succession

4. Making a Will: Capacity and Intention  

This chapter discusses the capacity and intention required to make a valid will. To have capacity means that a person is legally competent to make a will. To be competent, the testator must have attained the required minimum age and must possess the necessary level of mental competence. A will is also invalid unless the testator had the intention to make it—he must have the animus testandi when he executes the will. More specifically, the requirement is that the testator must have intended that his wishes—as expressed in the appropriate form—should take effect on his death. It follows that these wishes must be entirely the result of his volition: the testator must know and approve of the contents of his will. Hence animus testandi can be vitiated by factors such as fraud, mistake, undue influence, or failure to understand fully the dispositions in the will.