Section 12(2) Induction: Module 6 – Special considerations (CAMHS and ID)

by Dr Dan Hayes, Professor Regi Alexander and Dr Asit B Biswas


Published: July 2020


This module looks at mental health law in specialised areas, including for children and young people and individuals with intellectual disabilities and/or autism.


The first part will cover the use of the Mental Health Act (MHA) in children (under 16) and young people (16 and 17). The law relating to the admission and treatment of children and young people can be complex, and also requires familiarity with other legal frameworks, such as the Children Act and the Mental Capacity Act (MCA). Those with parental responsibility for a child or young person may be in a position to authorise care and treatment, especially for younger children, but there are limits to that authority and professionals need to have a clear understanding of when that consent can be relied upon, but also when a different legal framework would be more appropriate.

The second part of this module considers the law in relation to people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism. The MHA gives significant powers and its complexity can be confusing to those who use it, let alone when used for people with intellectual disability or autism.

The MHA Code of Practice (Department of Health, 2015) indicates that a person can no longer be detained due to learning disability (i.e. intellectual disability) alone, but can be if this disability is 'associated with abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct'.

The Act's definition of mental disorder includes the full range of autism spectrum conditions, even if the autism is not associated with abnormally aggressive behaviour or seriously irresponsible conduct.

This teaching module, with the accompanying notes, covers definitions, explains the importance of Care and Treatment Reviews (CTRs) (which are not laid out in statute, i.e. not set out by the MHA), and describes the implications of the 'Secretary of State for Justice v MM' case ([2018] UKSC 60) in practice for people with learning disability or autism.


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If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


Mental Health Act 1983: Criteria for detention by Dr Guy Brookes, Dr Tim Branton and Dr Nick Brindle


Mental Health Act 1983: Safeguards (England) by Dr Guy Brookes, Dr Tim Branton and Dr Nick Brindle


Community treatment orders by Dr Guy Brookes, Dr Nick Brindle and Dr Tim Branton


Mental health and tribunal law: Part 1 – an introduction by Dr Sanjay Khurmi


Mental health and tribunal law: Part 2 – Section 72 of the Mental Health Act by Dr Sanjay Khurmi


Human rights and the Human Rights Act 1998 – implications for psychiatrists by Dr Martin Curtice and Dr Richard Symonds




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