The House of Commons is to debate the Government’s proposed Mental Health Bill over the next two days. The Bill, if passed, will see people with violent personality disorders held in confinement without having committed a crime. The government's attempt to change the Mental Health Laws follows the conviction of Michael Stone in 1998 for the murders of Lin and Megan Russell. Prior to the murders it was thought that Stone, a diagnosed psychopath, could not be held in confinement as his condition was untreatable. It was later realised that Stone was indeed receiving treatment, but this treatment was not administered fully.
Community Treatment Orders were to allow patients to be forced to take medicine, or placed in detention if required. After the Bill was previously defeated in the House of Lords, the Government has been required to make concessions and give doctors tight rules on how the orders are implemented.
Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: "They (the Government) want to force the argument in the direction they want to go. Compulsion is not the only route to treatment. Thousands of patients will access services without compulsion."
Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb Mr Lamb said: "We want to see core principles set out on the face of this bill. Those facing compulsion should have a right to an independent mental health advocate and they should be made aware of that right."
Health Minister Rosie Winterton said: "Every barrier that is put in the way of getting treatment to people with serious mental health problems puts both patients and the public at risk. We believe that this bill strikes the right balance between getting treatment to those who need it, putting in place patient safeguards and minimising the risk to the public."
Q. Should people diagnosed as having violent personality disorders, but have not committed any crime, be held in confinement?
Click: HERE to view the results.
(The results are archived by the British Library)