Section 2 -- general practice notebook

Stimulated by another topic I searched to understand what a joint medical recommendation was and came upon this in the GP notebook relating to section 2

The medical recommendations must agree that the detention is in the interests of the patient’s own safety, or the safety of others, or the patient is suffering from mental disorder of a nature or degree which warrants detention for assessment, or assessment followed by treatment, at least for a limited period.

As far as I can understand our previous discussions about the interpretation of the MHA this contradicts what the Act requires which is both the disorder and risk. No wonder doctors seem confused. Any comments?

This leads into my concern that from searching the net about doctors’ assumptions of a general duty regarding trying to prevent suicide there is a strand that seems to consider they do have such a duty. As far as I can see their only duty is to try to prevent suicide for people that have a mental disorder or signs and symptoms of sufficient weight to make it clear they have a mental disorder.

I think you are quoting from the “GP Notebook” web page about section 2. The MHA advice on that website is of low calibre. You can see the correct position by just reading section 2 itself:

(2) An application for admission for assessment may be made in respect of a patient on the grounds that—

(a) he is suffering from mental disorder of a nature or degree which warrants the detention of the patient in a hospital for assessment (or for assessment followed by medical treatment) for at least a limited period; and

(b) he ought to be so detained in the interests of his own health or safety or with a view to the protection of other persons.

I can’t comment on the suicide part of your question but maybe a doctor will read this and reply.

Thanks for the clarification Jonathan, it is worrying that websites are of low calibre and may influence doctors in potentially dangerous ways.