Treatment Without Consent
Law, Psychiatry and the Treatment of Mentally Disordered People Since 1845
By Phil Fennell
Routledge – 1995 – 368 pages
Series: Social Ethics and Policy
Phil Fennell's tightly argued study traces the history of treatment of mental disorder in Britain over the last 150 years. He focuses specifically on treatment of mental disorder without consent within psychiatric practice, and on the legal position which has allowed it.
Treatment Without Consent examines many controversial areas: the use of high-strength drugs and Electro Convulsive Therapy, physical restraint and the vexed issue of the sterilisation of people with learning disabilities. Changing notions of consent are discussed, from the common perception that relatives are able to consent on behalf of the patient, to present-day statutory and common law rules, and recent Law Commission recommendations.
This work brings a complex and intriguing area to life; it includes a table of legal sources and an extensive bibliography. It is essential reading for historians, lawyers and all those who are interested in the treatment of mental disorder.
'A fundamentally important book'. - BMJ, March 1996
`an authoritative work which will prepare the reader for future changes in the law and provides useful reflection on current practices. It is highly readable and helps to make clear complex areas of law; it will be of great interest to all those involved in mental health law…The description of recent legal developments by Fennell is done in an accessible and thought-provoking way…To be fully informed about this debate, Treatment Without Consent should be read.' - Psychological Medicine
'Has much of interest to offer.' - History of Psychiatry
'Eminently readable … I recommend Treatment Without Consent to anyone interested in the subject of ethical treatment of mentally disordered people.' - British Medical Journal
'This book makes a valuable contribution to the understanding of the importance of consent seeking and the limitations of the legal framework in the face of inadequate resources. It is strongly recommended for health and law practitioners, policy makers and historians.' - Policy Studies