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Can the state force someone to have NHS treatment?


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As title, I cannot find any clear answers to this problem, I believe a friend of mine has some kind of debilitating illness but is refusing help because of his social anxiety. I do not want to go down the forceful route but now believe this is the only option left...

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This is covered by the Mental capacity act 2007.

 

The very quick overview.

 

A person can in general be said t have capacity to make decisions however be classed as unable to make decisions in certain areas due to a problem with their mental capacity. For example an agoraphobic can make decisions comfortably about any aspect of being in the home but may refuse medical treatment that requires them to leave it.

 

In this situation a suitably qualified social worker and suitably qualified Doctor can initiate the process whereby decisions relating to the best interests of the person are made by the court. This is normally a last option.

 

For further fuller details look up the act as defined above.

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As title, I cannot find any clear answers to this problem, I believe a friend of mine has some kind of debilitating illness but is refusing help because of his social anxiety. I do not want to go down the forceful route but now believe this is the only option left...

 

If you friend can prove that they understand the ramifications of not having treatment, then I'm afraid they are free to make up their own mind.

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The answer is yes and no.

 

If doctors believe that your friend has a full understanding of what refusing treatment means for him and what could happen if he agrees to treatment, and he's in sound mind and able to give or refuse informed consent then no, nobody would be able to force anything on him because it is ultimately his decision as an adult if he doesn't want to receive treatment.

 

However, if the reason that he's not getting treatment is in itself a mental illness then it comes down to whether he can be proven to either have, or not have, the capacity to make an informed decision on treatment of his illness and in that case social workers, doctors and the court can be brought into play, as heavenlyarts said.

 

One thing that you could really do with, for yourself, is to get your head around whether you're OK with trashing the friendship in order to get your friend the treatment you believe that he needs. It's quite likely that in forcing your friend into something like a court assessment would mean that your friendship is damaged beyond repair.

 

I've done a similar thing with one friend and the friendship has survived, but that is only because we've been friends for so long and when I explained to her that I put her needs above our friendship and I'd prefer her to be well and not to ever want to see me again than for her to be dead because I didn't act, then she understood that I was very serious about whether she needed to accept treatment. The happy outcome was that she accepted my word about how important it was, consented to stay in hospital and receive the treatment and is now fully recovered.

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Yes, if sectioned. Many in Broadmoor are said to be mental for refusing forced treatment. Many there might be mental, but I doubt very much that 100% are.

 

It's not as simple as that. If you are sectioned under the mental capacity act, then it only covers the specific reason that you are sectioned for. For example, if you can prove that you understand the consequences of not having an operation to repair a hernia, you cannot be forced to have that operation.

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The answer is yes and no.

 

If doctors believe that your friend has a full understanding of what refusing treatment means for him and what could happen if he agrees to treatment, and he's in sound mind and able to give or refuse informed consent then no, nobody would be able to force anything on him because it is ultimately his decision as an adult if he doesn't want to receive treatment.

 

However, if the reason that he's not getting treatment is in itself a mental illness then it comes down to whether he can be proven to either have, or not have, the capacity to make an informed decision on treatment of his illness and in that case social workers, doctors and the court can be brought into play, as heavenlyarts said.

 

One thing that you could really do with, for yourself, is to get your head around whether you're OK with trashing the friendship in order to get your friend the treatment you believe that he needs. It's quite likely that in forcing your friend into something like a court assessment would mean that your friendship is damaged beyond repair.

 

I've done a similar thing with one friend and the friendship has survived, but that is only because we've been friends for so long and when I explained to her that I put her needs above our friendship and I'd prefer her to be well and not to ever want to see me again than for her to be dead because I didn't act, then she understood that I was very serious about whether she needed to accept treatment. The happy outcome was that she accepted my word about how important it was, consented to stay in hospital and receive the treatment and is now fully recovered.

 

great post thankyou. I believe it is more of 'mental' issue, can someone be of a 'sound mind' if they would rather die than face their severe social anxiety?

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