Revised mental health bill fails to persuade patients or professionals

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 16 September 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:640
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. London

    The latest government attempts to win over detractors of the controversial mental health bill, first proposed in 2002 but later withdrawn for redrafting after an outcry over its contents, seem to have failed at the first hurdle.

    When health minister Rosie Winterton launched the revised bill last week professionals and patients' groups protested that the changes still didn't go far enough.

    Embedded Image

    Health minister Rosie Winterton said the bill “strikes the right balance”

    Credit: TONY HARRIS/PA

    After the more than 2000 responses to the last draft bill (BMJ 2002;325: 987) the government had made “some important changes,” Ms Winterton said.

    “I think we have a bill that strikes the right balance between an individual's need for treatment and the health and safety of others,” she said.

    Professor Louis Appleby, national director for mental health, acknowledged that the new act was …

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