Application of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 (NZ) in Recent NZ Coroner’s Court Cases
This article discusses the issues raised by the Coroner's findings about the deaths of Scoff Chapman and Tony Rosimini, who were patients of New Zealand mental health services. Coroner Smith, who made recommendations in both cases, concluded that the patients were "placed in accommodation effectively without the necessities of life". Chapman and Rosimini's tragic stories are, unfortunately, common cases which illustrate that certain adverse social conditions may detrimentally affect people's health and wellbeing. The Chapman case highlights the difficulties in treating the co-existing physical and mental health conditions of patients subject to the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 (NZ) without their consent. What medicolegal tools can be applied to patients who live in "chaotic social circumstances"? How can a mental health patient's physical health and general wellbeing be managed under this Act? This article combines traditional legal analysis with public health literature to explore these questions.
Publisher: Thomson Reuters
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Keywords: coroners; mental health legislation; mental health
Research Type: Journal Article