Mental Health/Fitness to Plead

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Diminished responsibility usually serves to reduce the charges of murder to those of manslaughter. The defense of a diminished responsibility is available inAustralian Capital Territory. In Australia diminished responsibilities comprise of three main elements whereby the accused person must be abnormal, the abnormality must have risen from a certain specified cause and finally the said abnormality must have impaired the defendant’s capacity to comprehend his initial actions (David, 2001, pp. 10). Abnormality of the mind can be as a result of various factors. The mental health can be caused by factors such as injuries or diseases. In theAustralian Capital Territory, the court orders detention in custody until the Mental Health Tribunal says otherwise (Ian, 2005, pp. 479). This paper aims at analyzing the major legal consequences in treating patients without their consent.

Informed consent is usually a phrase that is used legally to show the consent that a person offers meets some standards. Informed consent is usually given basing on a patent implication, facts as well as bearing on the future consequences of a certain action. There are some acts which can not take place unless there is an informed consent. In a situation where people are usually considered to be unable to give consent because may be they are mentally ill or underage, another person for example the legal guardians or parents can come in. In some cases where a person is given insufficient information in order to come up with a reasoned decision, there are always some serious ethical issues that do arise from that.

Consent is usually quite complex when it comes to evaluating since neither the consent expressions nor expression of the comprehension of the implications might mean that a rational consent was given. In a country likeAustralia, a patient centered approach is usually taken. The informed consent of the jurisdictions hence requires that risks to be disclosed as well as the risks that are of relevance to the patients. The approach combines both the subjective as well as the objective approach.

The ability of giving a rational consent is usually governed by the requirement to be competent. In the jurisdictions of the common law, the adults are usually presumed to be competent to go ahead and give consent. However, the presumption is usually rebutted in scenarios where by there is an issue of mental illness and other incomptencies.

There are instances whereby the patients refuse to consent because of religious grounds and other issues for example the age.  For example in the Australian jurisdictions, there is a certain legislation that does allow some treatment forms for the minors without having the parents’ consent. In most parts ofAustralia, blood transfusion can be as well be given without the parental consent in case the child is in danger or in an emergency situation (Staunton & Mary, 2007, pp. 137). The standard consent inAustraliais usually established by common law. At common law incase of lack of individual consent to the medical treatment usually renders medical practitioners to be liable of damages of assault as well as battery (John & Philip, 1983, pp. 211). However, any emergency situation is usually an exception to the common law rule (John & Philip, 1983).  Emergency situations are circumstances where medical treatment is always required to save individuals life or better still prevent some grave injuries to health.

The medical practitioners should offer consent to the patients explaining to them the magnitude of their problems and what ought to be done. Before they embark on any serious treatment with the patient, they should first have the consent of the patients . However, in other cases of emergency consent is not required. Incase of breach of consent, the doctors are liable of damages.