Detention on the grounds of mental health aims to provide treatment and safety for those who are deemed unable to make an informed decision about their situation due to their mental state. The current process in the UK means that two doctors or a doctor and a social worker have to declare that it would be in the interest of the patient and society for the patient to be 'sectioned' (meaning detained in hospital). This usually lasts for 72 hours, but can be extended by the doctor for up to 28 days (full details in scrapbook). A similar process is carried out in countries such as Australia, the USA (although the specifics vary between States) and the Netherlands. In other countries such as Germany, detention is only carried out if a guardian wishes it. Yet historically, such a method of detention has been abused by governments such as Soviet Russia using these mental health laws to detain political prisoners1. Many mental health awareness groups oppose this policy. This debate aims to discuss the positive and negative aspects and effects of detention on the grounds of mental illness, with particular reference to DSPD (dangerous severe personality disorder).
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