Consultation on the implementation of certain sections of the Mental Health Act (Scotland) 2015 and Associated regulations (Part 1).

First consultation on the implementation of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015 and associated secondary legislation. It focuses on implementation of named persons, advance statements, conflict of interest regulations and safeguards for certain informal patients regulations.

Chapter 4 – Safeguards for certain informal patients regulations

The law sets out safeguards for some treatments that may be given to patients who are under 16 years of age.

If the patient is not able to give consent, consent must be given by a person with parental rights and responsibilities for the child. A Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP) who is not the medical practitioner primarily responsible for the child's treatment must certify that the patient is not able to make a decision and that the treatment is in the patient's best interests.

If the patient resists the treatment, it can only be given if the DMP certifies that the patient is not able to make a decision, that the patient resists or objects and the treatment is needed.

The treatment must only be given if it will:

  • save the patient's life
  • stop the patient's condition from getting much worse
  • stop serious suffering on the part of the patient
  • stop the patient from behaving violently or being a danger to themselves or others.

At the moment, these safeguards do not cover artificial nutrition. We want to change this. Artificial nutrition is when food is not given through the mouth in the normal way, but through tubes or other ways.

Artificial nutrition is often used in life-threatening situations and we want to make sure that this does not stop life-saving treatment being given when there is not consent.

Question 18 - Do you agree with this? Please tell us if you have any different suggestions.


Email: Mental Health Law Team

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