Trust challenges ruling over sectioning patients

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 13 June 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1765
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    Five law lords were asked last week to overturn a Court of Appeal ruling which has forced doctors to section tens of thousands of patients under the Mental Health Act.

    Bournewood Community and Mental Health Trust in Surrey, backed by the Department of Health, launched a test case to challenge the ruling, which has huge resource implications for the NHS. It means that tens of thousands of patients with dementia and learning disabilities who under previous practice were admitted informally have had to be assessed and many of them detained compulsorily under the Act.

    Three appeal court judges unanimously ruled last December that …

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