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Thousands of patients may be being detained illegally

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7130.493h (Published 14 February 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:493
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    The Department of Health is financing an appeal to the House of Lords against a Court of Appeal ruling last December which means that tens of thousands of mentally incapacitated patients are being detained illegally in hospitals and nursing homes.

    The department is also briefing lawyers to intervene in the case on its behalf to outline to the law lords the implications of the appeal court's judgment for the NHS. It is asking for an expedited appeal, but a judgment is not expected before late spring at the earliest.

    Three appeal court judges, headed by the Master of …

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