Intended for healthcare professionals


Mental health legislation and decision making capacity: Autonomy in Alzheimer's disease is ignored and neglected

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 12 January 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:118
  1. Robert Stewart, consultant in liaison old age psychiatry (
  1. Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London SE5 8AF

    Editor—Doyal and Sheather and the accompanying commentaries raise important issues,1 but they do not mention one of the most striking inequalities in current mental health and capacity legislation.

    If someone with schizophrenia is admitted against his or her will, three independent recommendations are required, and the person has access to legal representation and at least two rights of appeal—this for a 28 day admission. However, if an inpatient with mild to moderate Alzheimer's …

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