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The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, which came into effect on 5 October 2005, enables medical professionals to detain and treat people against their will on grounds of mental disorder, with the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland and the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland providing safeguards against mistreatment.

It largely replaces the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984.

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[hide]*1 Detention certificates

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Detention certificates

The act provides for short term detention certificates and emergency detention certificates.

Short term certificates are referred to by the act as the 'preferred gateway' to detention, and lead, notionally, to up to 28 days detention during which treatment may be administered against the will of the detainee, and can also lead to compulsory treatment orders, which have longer term implications for the detainee's liberty.

Detainees can apply to the Mental Health Tribunal for revocation of short term certificates.

Emergency certificates lead, notionally, to up to 72 hours detention, and can also lead to detentions under short term certificates.

Emergency certificates do not enable treatment against the will of detainees, and there is no formal process of appeal against them.

Unless a certificate is completed for someone who is already in a mental health hospital, both forms of detention are preceded by detention of up to 72 hours in what are called 'places of safety', while transport to hospital is arranged.

Also, short term detentions may be extended for periods of up to three 'working days', to facilitate applications to the Mental Health Tribunal for compulsory treatment orders.

Saturdays, Sundays, and Scottish bank holidays are not counted as working days.

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Principles

The law is based on a set of principles. These principles should be taken into account by anyone involved in a person's care and treatment.

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Past and present wishes

If you are a patient, you should be given the information and support you need to take part in decisions about your care and treatment. To help service users get their views across, the new Act puts in place the right to access independent advocacy services. It also puts in place advance statements as a way to help service users say what care and treatment they would and would not want to have. We[who?] will be checking on cases where a person's advance statement has been overridden.

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The views of your named person and any carer, guardian or welfare attorney you have

Carers should be involved in decision-making and should be given information they need to help them in their role. We will be developing guidance this year to help service providers and carers with the problem of patient confidentiality and sharing information.

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Options

Your care plan should reflect your needs as an individual. We[who?] will be reviewing care plans of people on long-term detentions. For more information see our monitoring priorities.

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The care and treatment that will be of most benefit

This should be reflected in a care plan. In addition the Act puts in place safeguards when consent to treatment has not been given. We[who?] have a role in safeguarding treatment, for more information see our leaflet.

On many occasions a patient's care & treatment becomes much to the opinion of any one person, with a psychiatric disorder (mentalis confusio), latest labels that of chemical imbalance or chemical disorder, perplex and confuse not only the patient, but those whom may be designated decision makers on a patient's behalf. Family members all to often are not given any information, nor the correct questions to ask.

All too often the system fails to accept a lack of science behind these labels. "where is that chemical test for this chemical imbalance?" Truth is that like the word illness: no such disease exists, nor any chemical as where is this chemical test; well paid professionals or populus of institutions together, with no clear facts & no willingness to discuss any way except that of psychiatry & adding of substance of those many same category as Class substances.

If worried or concerned then as a useful safeguard contact Citizens Commission on Human Rights, UK chapter. Group who concern themselves only in attaining the best way forward for our mental health system. No other organisation sends forth a clear message, group has many informative DVDs and documents all abuses in particular of forced consent where you the patient have no choice, even if the end result is brain damage - ask the writer.

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Individual abilities and background

Important things about you such as your age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, racial origin or membership of any ethnic group should be taken into account by people providing care and treatment.

People giving you care should also make sure that:

  1. any restrictions on a person's freedom are the least necessary
  2. the person being treated under the act shouldn't be treated any less favourably than anyone else being treated for a mental illness, or other mental disorder
  3. carer's needs are taken into account
  4. the person being treated is getting services that are right for them
  5. when a person is no longer receiving compulsory treatment, he or she should still continue to get care and treatment if it is needed
  6. if the person being treated is under 18, his or her welfare is of the highest priority

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External links

Categories: Acts of the Scottish Parliament 2003