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Not reasonably practicable: are there now greater opportunities for abuse by a nearest relative?

David Hewitt (Visiting Fellow of Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK and Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Article publication date: 9 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain a decision of the Court of Appeal about the duty an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) will sometimes have to consult a patient's nearest relative, and to set that decision in the context of an earlier one.

Design/methodology/approach

Each decision is examined in detail and one is compared with the other. Reference is made to the Mental Health Act 1983 Code of Practice.

Findings

It will be harder for an AMHP to establish that consultation is not reasonably practicable, and it will be correspondingly easier, in some cases, for a nearest relative to obtain information about a patient or achieve proximity to her.

Originality/value

This is thought to be the first time the two cases have been considered together or in their true context.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author is grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their diligence, and for their perceptive comments on an earlier draft of this paper.

Citation

Hewitt, D. (2015), "Not reasonably practicable: are there now greater opportunities for abuse by a nearest relative?", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 62-70. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAP-06-2014-0021

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited