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1.
Br J Nurs ; 30(5): 320-321, 2021 Mar 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140807

ABSTRACT

Richard Griffith, Senior Lecturer in Health Law at Swansea University, considers two recent cases in the Court of Protection that determined if the COVID-19 vaccine was in the best interests of a person who lacked the mental capacity to decide on immunisation after relatives objected its administration.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Legislation, Nursing , Mental Competency/legislation & jurisprudence , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/nursing , Homes for the Aged , Humans , Nursing Homes , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Vulnerable Populations
2.
J Pediatr ; 231: 24-30, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1120004

ABSTRACT

We address ethical, legal, and practical issues related to adolescent self-consent for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination. HPV vaccination coverage continues to lag well behind the national goal of 80% series completion. Structural and behavioral interventions have improved vaccination rates, but attitudinal, behavioral, and access barriers remain. A potential approach for increasing access and improving vaccination coverage would be to permit adolescents to consent to HPV vaccination for themselves. We argue that adolescent self-consent is ethical, but that there are legal hurdles to be overcome in many states. In jurisdictions where self-consent is legal, there can still be barriers due to lack of awareness of the policy among healthcare providers and adolescents. Other barriers to implementation of self-consent include resistance from antivaccine and parent rights activists, reluctance of providers to agree to vaccinate even when self-consent is legally supported, and threats to confidentiality. Confidentiality can be undermined when an adolescent's self-consented HPV vaccination appears in an explanation of benefits communication sent to a parent or if a parent accesses an adolescent's vaccination record via state immunization information systems. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to a substantial drop in HPV vaccination, there may be even more reason to consider self-consent. The atmosphere of uncertainty and distrust surrounding future COVID-19 vaccines underscores the need for any vaccine policy change to be pursued with clear communication and consistent with ethical principles.


Subject(s)
Informed Consent By Minors/ethics , Informed Consent By Minors/legislation & jurisprudence , Papillomavirus Infections/prevention & control , Papillomavirus Vaccines , Adolescent , Age Factors , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Mental Competency/legislation & jurisprudence , Mental Competency/psychology , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , United States
3.
Nurs Older People ; 33(2): 26-31, 2021 Mar 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-884027

ABSTRACT

Research is important because it underpins evidence-based care. However, people who lack capacity to consent are often excluded from research, due partly to ethical concerns and practical challenges, and partly to a lack of awareness among professionals of the legal framework that supports their inclusion. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has extensively affected care home residents, has reinforced the importance of including older people with cognitive impairment in research. Nurses who care for older people with impaired cognition have an important role in ensuring these people have the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from research. This article discusses some of the challenges associated with the inclusion in research of older people who lack capacity to consent, including the involvement of relatives and friends in decision-making. The article describes the findings of recent research and shares resources with the aim of supporting nurses to ensure that older people in their care who lack capacity can participate in research.


Subject(s)
Informed Consent/legislation & jurisprudence , Mental Competency/legislation & jurisprudence , Nurse-Patient Relations , Research Subjects/psychology , Research/organization & administration , Aged , COVID-19 , Humans , Research Subjects/statistics & numerical data , United Kingdom/epidemiology
4.
Int J Law Psychiatry ; 73: 101632, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-808407

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic in late 2019 and early 2020 presented new and urgent challenges to mental health services and legislators around the world. This special issue of the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry explores mental health law, mental capacity law, and medical and legal ethics in the context of COVID-19. Papers are drawn from India, Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, and the United States. Together, these articles demonstrate the complexity of psychiatric and legal issues prompted by COVID-19 in terms of providing mental health care, protecting rights, exercising decision-making capacity, and a range of other topics. While further work is needed in many of these areas, these papers provide a strong framework for addressing key issues and meeting the challenges that COVID-19 and, possibly, other outbreaks are likely to present in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Commitment of Mentally Ill , Human Rights , Mental Competency , Mental Disorders/psychology , Mental Health Services , Mental Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Commitment of Mentally Ill/ethics , Commitment of Mentally Ill/legislation & jurisprudence , Human Rights/ethics , Human Rights/legislation & jurisprudence , Humans , Mental Competency/legislation & jurisprudence , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Health Services/ethics , Mental Health Services/legislation & jurisprudence , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Int J Law Psychiatry ; 71: 101593, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-618045

ABSTRACT

A state's real commitment to its international human rights obligations is never more challenged than when it faces emergency situations. Addressing actual and potential resourcing pressures arising from the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in, amongst other things, modifications to Scottish mental health and capacity law and the issuing of new guidance relating to associated practice. Whether these emergency or ordinary measures are invoked during the crisis there are potential implications for the rights of persons with mental illness, learning disability and dementia notably those relating to individual autonomy and dignity. This article will consider areas of particular concern but how strict adherence to the legal, ethical and human rights framework in Scotland will help to reduce the risk of adverse consequences.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Human Rights/legislation & jurisprudence , Mental Competency/legislation & jurisprudence , Mental Health/legislation & jurisprudence , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland/epidemiology
6.
Int J Law Psychiatry ; 71: 101602, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-610676

ABSTRACT

This article examines the changes made to mental health and capacity laws in Northern Ireland through temporary emergency legislation, known as the Coronavirus Act 2020. The purpose of the legislation was to respond to the emergency situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the increase pressure placed on health services in the United Kingdom. An overview is provided of the government's rationale for the changes to Northern Ireland mental health and capacity laws, as well as exploring how they are likely to be operationalised in practice. Consideration is also given as to how such changes may impact upon existing human rights protections for persons assessed as lacking mental capacity. It is argued that it is important that regular parliamentary oversight is maintained in relation to the potential impact and consequences of such changes during the period they are in force. This should be done in order to assess whether they remain a necessary, proportionate and least restrictive response to the challenges faced in managing mental health and capacity issues in Northern Ireland during this public health emergency.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Mental Health/legislation & jurisprudence , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Commitment of Mentally Ill/legislation & jurisprudence , Human Rights/legislation & jurisprudence , Humans , Mental Competency/legislation & jurisprudence , Northern Ireland/epidemiology , Pandemics , Public Health/legislation & jurisprudence , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Int J Law Psychiatry ; 72: 101601, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-610675

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus pandemic, referred to here as Covid-19, has brought into sharp focus the increasing divergence of devolved legislation and its implementation in the United Kingdom. One such instance is the emergency health and social care legislation and guidance introduced by the United Kingdom Central Government and the devolved Governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in response to this pandemic. We provide a summary, comparison and discussion of these proposed and actual changes with a particular focus on the impact on adult social care and safeguarding of the rights of citizens. To begin, a summary and comparison of the relevant changes, or potential changes, to mental health, mental capacity and adult social care law across the four jurisdictions is provided. Next, we critique the suggested and actual changes and in so doing consider the immediate and longer term implications for adult social care, including mental health and mental capacity, at the time of publication.several core themes emerged: concerns around process and scrutiny; concerns about possible changes to the workforce and last, the possible threat on the ability to safeguard human rights. It has been shown that, ordinarily, legislative provisions across the jurisdictions of the UK are different, save for Wales (which shares most of its mental health law provisions with England). Such divergence is also mirrored in the way in which the suggested emergency changes could be implemented. Aside from this, there is also a wider concern about a lack of parity of esteem between social care and health care, a concern which is common to all. What is interesting is that the introduction of CVA 2020 forced a comparison to be made between the four UK nations which also shines a spotlight on how citizens can anticipate receipt of services.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Care Reform/legislation & jurisprudence , Legislation, Medical/trends , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Health Services/legislation & jurisprudence , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Commitment of Mentally Ill/legislation & jurisprudence , Humans , Mental Competency/legislation & jurisprudence , Mental Disorders/therapy , Northern Ireland/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
8.
Int J Law Psychiatry ; 71: 101572, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-478072

ABSTRACT

Psychiatric inpatients are particularly vulnerable to the transmission and effects of COVID-19. As such, healthcare providers should implement measures to prevent its spread within mental health units, including adequate testing, cohorting, and in some cases, the isolation of patients. Respiratory isolation imposes a significant limitation on an individual's right to liberty, and should be accompanied by appropriate legal safeguards. This paper explores the implications of respiratory isolation in English law, considering the applicability of the common law doctrine of necessity, the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the Mental Health Act 1983, and public health legislation. We then interrogate the practicality of currently available approaches by applying them to a series of hypothetical cases. There are currently no 'neat' or practicable solutions to the problem of lawfully isolating patients on mental health units, and we discuss the myriad issues with both mental health and public health law approaches to the problem. We conclude by making some suggestions to policymakers.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Hospitals, Psychiatric/ethics , Hospitals, Psychiatric/legislation & jurisprudence , Infection Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Mental Competency/legislation & jurisprudence , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Isolation/ethics , Patient Isolation/legislation & jurisprudence , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , England/epidemiology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Wales/epidemiology
9.
Int J Law Psychiatry ; 70: 101560, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-47861

ABSTRACT

In the course of a few short weeks, many of the established legal frameworks relating to decision-making in England & Wales in respect of those with impaired decision-making capacity have been ripped up, or apparently rendered all but unusable. Although the Mental Capacity Act 2005 itself has not been amended, the impact of other legislation (especially the Coronavirus Act 2020) means that duties towards those with impaired decision-making capacity have been radically changed. This article reflects the experience of a practising barrister in England & Wales grappling with the impact of COVID-19 upon the Mental Capacity Act 2005 across a range of fields in the weeks after the world appeared to change in mid-March 2020.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Decision Making , Mental Competency/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , England , Human Rights/psychology , Humans , Mental Competency/legislation & jurisprudence , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine , Wales
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