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Peter Bartlett and Ralph Sandland

Written by two of the country's leading specialists in mental health law, Mental Health Law: Policy and Practice, fourth edition, provides a detailed overview of the law and the socio-legal, historical, sociological, and cultural issues that surround it. Mental health law, at its heart, involves the forcible confinement and medication of some of society's most vulnerable people, and the authors look closely at the legal and social issues raised by this, and the human rights of those who suffer from mental illness. With reference to recent cases and new legislation, the authors analyse the legal structure and functions of the mental health system, and the problems of characterizing mental health law. The case law and statutes contain implied premises as to what it is to be a citizen, what the role of the state is for the vulnerable, and what the relative roles of law and medicine are in the regulation of control and deviance. Mental health law is an area of considerable legal and social complexity, and the authors challenge readers to question the system and the policies that have been developed. New to this edition are a significant restructuring of the text to take account of changes in law, policy, and practice; and new and expanded coverage of various topics including the 2007 reforms to the 1983 Mental Health Act, DOLS and the MHA/MCA interface, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.